CNN abruptly fires longtime host
CNN has fired TV host Don Lemon, who had worked for the US network since 2006, kicking off a public dispute with the former anchor, who claims he was blindsided by the decision.
Lemon took to Twitter to announce his firing on Monday, saying he was given no advance notice. He suggested the move was motivated by “larger issues at play,” without specifying what they might be.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly,” he said. “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.”
CNN has offered no explanation for Lemon’s dismissal, but disputed his comments in a statement of its own later on Monday.
“Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter,” the company said.
Lemon’s show ‘CNN This Morning’ has lagged behind its competitors in the ratings, though the network’s chairman Chris Licht nonetheless said he was “committed to its success” in a memo issued to employees announcing that “CNN and Don have parted ways.”
Lemon hosted several programs at CNN since joining in 2006, most notably its news show ‘CNN Tonight’. His firing came on the same day that Fox News announced the departure of Tucker Carlson, who was the outlet’s top-rated host for some time. So far, neither Fox or Carlson have explained the move.