CNN INSIDER: Don Lemon ‘Isn’t Worth The Headache’
With CNN’s viewership continuing to dwindle after a number of on and off-air controversies, the network was expected to take a dramatic turn toward professionalism under new chief Chris Licht.
This, however, has not been the case. In fact, the demotion of former prime-time anchor Don Lemon to the new CNN morning show has caused an inordinate amount of childish drama for the company, including a recent dust-up in which Lemon suggested that women are no longer “in their prime” in their 50’s.
The sexist remark not only saw Lemon removed from the show for a day, but also sent him to “formal training” of some sort to hopefully prevent further misogynistic outbursts.
Behind the scenes, however, CNN insiders don’t seem too keen on keeping Don around.
A CNN insider said Lemon has “no defenders” inside the network over the situation and everyone is still “pissed.” If he were forced out, “it would probably be welcomed by a lot of people,” they said. “I think there’s an array of people who maybe like him personally, not professionally.”
A second insider, asked whether Lemon was well-liked in the building, replied “not anymore,” citing a dramatic shift in recent days.
But despite the animosity, the insider says while consensus of internal network chatter is that “absolutely” he should go, Lemon remains “untouchable” since he’s “part of a protected class.”
When asked whether he’s worth the headache to keep on-air, the insider quickly replied, “No.”
The criticisms didn’t end there.
“I think he should bust his a– to make the morning show work,” a third insider said. “Drop all ego. Play well with others.”
“Don Lemon’s buffoonery has got to be the worst morning show debacle since Deborah Norville replaced Jane Pauley on the ‘Today’ show,” a longtime media executive who previously worked at CNN told Fox News Digital. “Chris Licht should cut his losses and fire Don before Don subjects CNN’s dwindling audience to more of this misogynistic psychodrama.”
The Lemon-helmed morning show only went live back in November, but has already shed a fifth of its initial viewership.
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