CNN’s Morning Show Ratings Disaster Getting Makeover After Don Lemon Incidents


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

In an effort to revive its flagging morning show featuring co-host Don Lemon, CNN has once again taken steps to boost its ratings.

The network has reportedly hired two seasoned executive producers to oversee “CNN This Morning,” which has been grappling with poor viewership and a host of controversies for several months, as per the New York Post.


“Longtime CNN producer Lauren Mensch and Chris Russell, who recently was the executive producer for NewsNation’s ‘On Balance with Leland Vittert,’ will grab the reins from Eric Hall, according to the cable news network. The moves come amid a flurry of bad publicity for Lemon,” the outlet reported.

Lemon was slated to host a major program in February but was pulled from the gig after he made what made regarded as sexist remarks directed at GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley during a morning show earlier in the month — comments that got him booted from his normal on-air duties for days.

The former prime-time solo host was originally planned to serve as moderator for an “Agents of Change” event in New York last week to commemorate Black History Month, but his previous offensive comments towards Haley and women, in general, tainted his public image and resulted in his removal as moderator from the event, according to TMZ.

“We’re told Don was worried about his current news coverage overtaking the event, and our sources tell us event coordinators at Douglas Elliman agreed … so he bowed out,” the outlet reported, adding he was replaced by real estate broker John Gomes.

Lemon criticized Haley for endorsing “mandatory mental competency tests” for politicians who are 75 years or older, suggesting that Haley was no longer in her “prime.” Lemon referenced “Google” to support his contention that Haley, who is 51 years old, will face a difficult challenge in winning the presidency, as women are only considered to be in their prime during their “20s, 30s, and 40s.”

“I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it. Everybody at home, when is a woman in her prime, it says the 20s, 30s, and 40s,” he said to morning ho co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins. “And I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. Because she wouldn’t be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is.”


The report said that Harlow left the set “furious” for a bathroom break and was followed by Collins.

“Chris isn’t happy and he has spoken to Don a couple of times today,” a source told the New York Post in a separate story. “Don knows it can’t happen again.”

Lemon took to Twitter later to tweet an apology: “The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”


Haley responded: “To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for sexist middle-aged CNN anchors; only for people who make our laws and are 75+.”

Lemon went on to survive calls to have him fired after he made his remarks about Haley, a former governor of South Carolina who served as then-President Donald Trump’s UN ambassador. Network officials said he would return to the airwaves to join co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins after he undergoes “formal training” for sexism, The First TV reported.

That follows reports earlier in February that Lemon rattled Collins as well as the crew following an off-camera confrontation with her. Reports said he “screamed” at her for allegedly interrupting him on the air.


According to another recent report from the New York Post, several sources said that Lemon “screamed” at Collins following an on-air incident on the set, with tensions continuing to rise as the show tanks and as Lemon, apparently, is unhappy sharing on-air duties with Collins and Harlow.

Back to top button