CNN announced more shake ups to its “news’ line ups, this time revealing far-left activist host Don Lemon would be demoted to its sunrise programming and ending his nearly-decade-long run in the coveted evening slots. Lemon is thus far saved from a humiliating departure like fellow anchors Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter.
CNN continues to struggle with broadcasting and will now have the trouble of filling both Lemon’s vacant hour as well as the since-departed Cuomo’s. CNN has yet to find a permanent replacement for the younger brother of disgraced New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
Lemon will take over for a morning bloc that has been equally troubled by low viewership. Presently, the program New Day fills the early morning time slot, but will soon be replace by an as-yet-named show featuring the aforementioned Lemon and two new sidekicks, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
In a press release, CNN’s blog announced the new move:
CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht announced today co-anchors for the network’s reimagined morning show, his first major programming move since taking the helm of CNN in May. Anchored by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, the new morning news program will debut later this year with a fresh name, format and set.
“There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program,” said Licht. “They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN’s resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we will offer a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day.”
Despite the obvious demotion, as NewsBusters called it, Lemon laughably expressed excitement and gratitude for the new opportunity.
“The last eight years have been an incredible ride. I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of the best show teams in the business, but it’s time to shake things up. I am so appreciative of the Don Lemon Tonight team, my wonderful, loyal viewers and everyone who has believed in me,” he said.
“I was honestly floored when Chris Licht asked me to do this and I’m honored by his belief in me. It’s going to be a thrill to take on this challenge with Poppy and Kaitlan. I’ll get to work with two of my dearest friends. Set your alarms folks, because we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
The move was long in the making and the only surprise is that Lemon wasn’t outright fired by the rebranding network. Numbers from Mediate present a truly dim picture of just how bad CNN has been faring in the ratings department for some time.
A report from early August showed that total viewership in a side-by-side comparison of CNN and rival Fox was simply embarrassing. The left-wing network garnered significant traction during the Trump presidency for constantly bashing the 45th president, but once out of office people realized it offered little in substance.
Mediate reported CNN drew an average of just 79,000 viewers in the primetime slots (8:00pm-11:00pm) compared to Fox’s 2.69 million. In the coveted 25-54 demographic, CNN was able to pull in an meager average of just 174,000 to Fox’s 318,000.