There have been some changes going on at CNN with the takeover by CEO Chris Licht. Licht was reportedly trying to get CNN back to being about real news and less being a wing of the Democratic Party.
We saw partisan hack Brian Stelter and his show “Reliable Sources” get the boot. Then, perhaps someone who was just as much of a partisan, John Harwood, also was shown the door. That indicated that Licht might be trying to clean up the mess of the most partisan people.
But as we reported, he was contemplating more changes, including to the morning show, “New Day” with John Berman and Brianna Keilar. We also noted that Don Lemon was on the list of people who might see changes. CNN employees were terrified as to who might get the hammer dropped on them next.
That proved true when it was announced on Thursday that Licht was remaking the morning show, reassigning Berman and Keilar, and bringing in Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins instead.
Now, taking someone from a nighttime show named after him, where he gets to pontificate and attack people, and moving him to a morning show with co-anchors is, by anyone’s estimation, a big demotion, although probably better than getting kicked out entirely like Stelter or Harwood. And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy than Don Lemon. But Lemon’s reaction was pretty funny. Listen as he tries to suck up to Chris Licht and sell that this was all voluntary — it’s really a promotion.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 16, 2022
“I was presented with an opportunity that I can’t pass up, at this network, and we have a new boss who is a morning show impresario. And he wants a morning show that will kick off the editorial direction of the network, every single day, and I am honored that he asked me to do it,” Lemon said.
“For all those who are out there saying, ‘Oh, he moved me and without my –,’ he asked me and I said yes. I could have said no. This is my show, I have a contract for this show, I decided I would take him up on that and take this journey with him. This is not someone moving me,” Lemon continued.
Lemon also claimed that he wasn’t told he had to “move to the right” — an implicit admission of his leftist bias.
“I was not demoted. None of that. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion,” Lemon insisted.
No one was believing what Lemon was trying to sell. But this was typical of Don Lemon’s divorce from reality. It’s both funny and sad at the same time that he thinks he can sell that to people.
“This is an extremely embarrassing demotion for Don Lemon, and likely a prelude to his termination. When this new morning show launches and flounders in the ratings, which it will, he’ll be the first to go. CNN had tried for years to fix its morning programming and Don Lemon is not the answer,” a longtime network morning show producer told Fox News Digital.
That sounds about right. Of course, I’d like to have him booted right away, but this probably was a way of dealing with Lemon’s contract. Then he’s gone and they can make fundamental changes. The real test will be what/who Licht puts in place of Lemon’s primetime show — they haven’t announced that yet.