Don Lemon claims new CNN role is a ‘promotion’ despite losing primetime show

Don Lemon voiced Thursday night, insisting that his new job co-hosting CNN’s morning show is a “promotion” — even as the network axed his primetime show.

CNN boss Chris Licht revealed the network’s programming overhaul on Thursday, which will see the left-leaning primetime host exit his Plum solo slot and move on to a newly created morning show that stars Caitlyn Collins and Poppy Harlow. Will co-host with

“I was presented with an opportunity that I could not pass up in this network.” Lemon insisted on his ratings-challenged 10 p.m. show “Don Lemon Tonight”.

He continued: “And we have a new boss who’s a morning show impresario, and he wants a morning show that will start the editorial direction of the network every day, and I’m honored to have me do it.” Will ask for.”

Licht is tasked with lifting ratings on CNN to third place, which includes remaking the cable news network’s primetime lineup, as well as recreating its runaway morning show, “New Day.” Part of that reinvestment has included moving away from pedantry and centrist, fact-based reporting.

In recent weeks, the network has canned outspoken host Brian Stelter of the now-cancelled “Trusted Sources” and fired both John Harwood and scandal-hit Jeffrey Tobin amid discussions that “New Day” anchor John Berman. And Brianna Keeler was next.

Don Lemon has dismissed rumors that his new job co-hosting CNN’s morning show is a demotion.

But Lemon told viewers on Thursday that it was his choice to go on the new morning show.

“To all those who are out there saying, Oh, he moved me, and without me – he asked me and I said yes. I couldn’t say no,” said Lemon. “This is my show. I have a contract for this show. I decided that I would take her on that and take this journey with her. ,

“This no one is going to shake me,” the anchor continued. “And by the way, it’s no one is saying, ‘You should go to the right, Don Lemon. And you shouldn’t be like that – give your point of view that much.’ Nothing like this has happened. This is all fodder for Twitter, which is not real. So stop.

“I wasn’t demoted, none of that. It’s an opportunity,” Lemon said. “It’s a promotion.”

Chris Light
CNN boss Chris Licht is in the process of reforming the struggling cable news network.
Getty Images for Warner Bros.

But naysayers pointed to Stelter, who had three years left on his contract when he was ousted last month.

CNN did not comment on Lemon’s new contract. When asked whether the anchor’s salary has been increased, Lemon’s agent also declined to comment.

Lemon — who often gave his liberal opinion on his show — helmed the lowest-ranked program in primetime in August, averaging 660,000 viewers, taking third place for Fox and MSNBC.

Sources recently told The Post that Licht has “his job cut out for him” as he tries to boost the network’s ratings.

In August, Fox News dominated the top 10 highest-rated cable news shows with nine shows. Only MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow achieved the fifth-place ranking with 2.7 million viewers, surpassing Fox’s “The Five” (3.4 million), “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (3.3 million), “Hannity” (2.9 million) and “Jesse”. Waters primetime”. ” (2.9 million).

Don Lemon at the split screen with Laura Coates during the handoff.
Don Lemon explained why his new gig is a “promotion” during the handoff to Laura Coates.
Don Lemon on split screen with Laura Coates
Despite network-wide changes under Chris Licht, Lemon slaps any suggestion that his new job is a demotion.

The only CNN show to crack the top 25 was “Anderson Cooper 360” – ranked 25th with 950,000 viewers.

Meanwhile, “New Day” came in at number 42 out of 82 cable news shows, drawing a total of 396,000 viewers.

CNN did not provide a start date for the changes, but said it would rename it to “New Day” and update its set later this year. Berman and Keeler will remain on the network, Licht said.

Licht is best known for his previous success launching MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and relaunching CBS’s morning show, which was then called “CBS This Morning”. Both shows feature lively conversations between their hosts and wide selection of guests about current topics and news of the day.

CNN told The Post that the network will announce who will replace Lemon in the next few weeks.

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