Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins Address Don Lemon's Exit on 'CNN This Morning'

CNN This Morning went on as usual on Tuesday morning, leaving co-anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins to explain Don Lemon's absence. Lemon was fired from CNN on Tuesday for unspecified reasons, and Harlow and Collins did not shed any new light on the situation. Still, they spoke about their former colleague respectfully.

"As you may have heard, CNN parted ways with Don Lemon," Harlow said before reading the statement published by CNN CEO Chris Licht on Monday afternoon. Collins then added: "Don was a big part of the show over the last six months. He was one of the first anchors on CNN to have me on his show. That's something I'll obviously never forget." Harlow had a personal anecdote about Lemon as well, making it clear that both journalists had conflicted feelings about going on without Lemon.

"Don was one of my first friends here at CNN," Harlow said. "I'm so thankful to have worked alongside him and for his support for nearly 15 years here, and I wish him all good things ahead. Kaitlan and I are really proud of this show. We are so proud of the dedicated team that works around the clock to bring you the news every morning, and our priority is you, the viewer, who gratefully welcomes us into your home each morning."

The logo shown at the opening of the show had also been updated to remove Lemon's name, indicating that Harlow and Collins will anchor the program on their own for at least a while. For those catching up, Lemon broke the news of his termination himself in a statement published on social media on Monday. He claimed that he had no warning of being fired and criticized network executives for not telling him what was going on directly.

"It is clear there are some larger issues at play," Lemon wrote. However, CNN disputed this version of events in a statement published later on, saying that Lemon was "offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter." Licht's official statement did not give a reason for firing Lemon.

"CNN and Don have parted ways," it said. "Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors."