CNN’s Prime-Time Purge Continues As Top Star’s Show Is Axed

DOWNTOWN, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES - 2015/11/14: CNN World Headquarters.
John Greim / LightRocket via Getty Images

The purge at CNN continued Thursday, as the network announced leftist Don Lemon will be squeezed out of prime time and moved into a morning co-anchor role.

The eight-year run of “Don Lemon Tonight” will end as new president Chris Licht continues to follow through on his pledge to tone down the network’s far-Left slant. Lemon’s new gig will be co-hosting the revamped morning show with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.

“There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program,” Licht said in a statement.

CNN did not say how it would program the 10 p.m. ET hour after making the switch, nor did it say what is next for current morning show hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar.

Lemon, whose show garnered a fraction of the audience of Fox News Channel’s “Ingraham Angle,” has long been one of the liberal network’s most far-Left voices.

“The last eight years have been an incredible ride,” Lemon said in a statement. “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.”

Chris Cuomo, who previously hosted the lead-in to Lemon’s ratings-challenged program, was fired last December after word got out he had helped with the sexual harassment defense of his brother and frequent guest, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Licht announced in May that CNN would revamp “New Day,” the morning show which has long trailed Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” But he is also seeking to pivot from far-Left, editorializing programs to a more straight news approach. The change was reportedly pushed by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief shareholder John Malone.

“I want to acknowledge that this is a time of significant change, and I know that many of you are unsettled,” Licht reportedly told staffers on an editorial staff call three weeks ago. “There will be more changes, and you might not understand it or like it.”

“Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter was fired last month and earlier this month, longtime, highly partisan correspondent John Harwood was let go. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was also let go earlier this year, but that may have been because of his infamous pandemic Zoom call in which he masturbated in front of co-workers.

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