Don Lemon’s Run On Primetime Is Coming To An End, But He’ll Still Be On CNN


Don Lemon has held the 10 p.m. primetime hour at CNN for the last eight years. His face has become a staple of American news. Later this year, his primetime show will no longer exist.

Time For Don Lemon To See The Light Of Day

In just a few months, you’ll wake up to a few different faces on CNN’s morning show. CNN recently announced that Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins will host a new morning program. For Lemon, this means that his primetime show, Don Lemon Tonight, will no longer be a feature on the cable news network. This change is just one of many moves new CNN chief executive Chris Licht is making since assuming the role a few months ago.

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Why the shake up? Turns out, Don Lemon Tonight is in last place with viewers across CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. According to Nielsen, Lemon’s show is down 42% year to year in total viewers and 48% with adults ages 25-42. Apparently, Licht believes that Lemon’s personality may do better greeting a morning audience. 

CNN is also giving its morning show a complete makeover. Their current morning show, New Day, is being replaced with the new show co-hosted by Lemon, Harlow, and Collins. Licht’s dramatic changeups look like serious attempts to increase viewership. However, the name, format, and timing of the new morning show have yet to be released.

In a media release issued by CNN on September 15, Licht remarks, “There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy, and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program. They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together, they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN’s resources and global news gathering capabilities, we will offer a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day.”

‘Set Your Alarm Folks’

For the past 16 years, Don Lemon has been one of the most recognizable faces at CNN. In response to the changes being made to his longtime role, the host shared his gratitude to his viewers, team, and the network.

“The last eight years have been an incredible ride,” Lemon reflects 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. I am so appreciative of the Don Lemon Tonight team, my wonderful, loyal viewers and everyone who has believed in me. 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.”

Will the new morning show help CNN increase their ratings? It’ll depend on how many people set their alarms and tune in, but it certainly seems like the network is setting its sights high.



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