New CNN chief Chris Licht recently announced that the network would move left-leaning primetime personality Don Lemon to a newly formed morning show team. Lemon will replace current “New Day” anchors John Berman and Brianna Keilar together with Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow.
After CNN parent company Warner Bros. Discovery promised to steer CNN away from opinion-based programming and toward more moderate news reporting, Licht made the long-awaited decision to remove Lemon from prime time. The network recently fired Brian Stelter, the controversial anchor of the now-canceled “Reliable Sources.”
Lemon’s 10 p.m. show “Don Lemon Tonight,” which frequently expressed leftist viewpoints, was the lowest-rated program in primetime in August, with an average of 660,000 nightly viewers. A CNN representative claimed the network would reveal Lemon’s replacement in the coming weeks. According to the New York Post, Kasie Hunt could be a potential successor for Lemon. Hunt could also fill the 9 p.m. slot that was left vacant after Chris Cuomo was fired for his part in assisting his older brother, the then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his sexual harassment scandal.
The shakeup follows Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s announcement that the business has to save at least $3 billion in costs by 2023. The network’s month-old streaming service CNN+ was shut down by the parent corporation earlier this year, leading to the layoff of about 300 employees.
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