CNN Fires Star Anchor Don Lemon

Michael M. Grynbaum, John Koblin, and Benjamin Mullin, reporting for The New York Times:

“CNN and Don have parted ways,” Chris Licht, CNN’s chairman, said in a statement. “Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”

That benign language contrasted sharply with Mr. Lemon’s interpretation of the day’s events. In a scathing message on Twitter, Mr. Lemon told viewers that he was abruptly informed by his talent agent “that I have been terminated by CNN.”

“I am stunned,” Mr. Lemon wrote. “After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. 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 disputed Mr. Lemon’s account, saying the anchor “was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”)

In a clear sign of acrimony, Mr. Lemon has retained the aggressive Hollywood litigator Bryan Freedman to handle his exit. His contract with CNN runs through 2026, according to two people with direct knowledge of his deal.

Brian Stelter: “It’s the craziest day in cable news history.”

Monday, 24 April 2023