Don Lemon to Leave CNN

April 24, 2023

CNN on Monday announced that it had “parted ways” with host Don Lemon.

“Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years,” said CNN CEO Chris Licht in a statement. “We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”

Lemon, meanwhile, tweeted, “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are larger issues at play.” 

According to reports, the 57-year-old Lemon began to lose support in February, after he made remarks about women and aging that were widely perceived to be sexist.

Lemon, who was co-hosting CNN’s morning show at the time, said that 51-year-old Presidential candidate Nikki Haley “isn’t in her prime, sorry.”

“A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,” he said, proceeding to dismiss objections from his female co-hosts by adding, “I’m just saying what the facts are—Google it.”

He later apologized to the CNN newsroom and agreed to participate in formal training.

In recent weeks, CNN’s bookers had discovered that some guests did not want to appear on-air with Lemon, and research on his show reviewed by CNN executives found that his popularity with audiences had fallen, a source told the New York Times.

The announcement of Lemon’s departure came just moments after an abrupt announcement from Fox News that prime time host Tucker Carlson was leaving, less than a week after that network agreed to pay $787.5 million to settle a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems, in which Carlson’s show figured prominently for its role in spreading disinformation about the 2020 Presidential election’s results.

“I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I’ve worked with for an incredible run,” Lemon said in his tweet. “They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best.”

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