Don Lemon announces new show on X, 8 months after CNN firing: All the details

Don Lemon is hoping for a comeback with a new show.

Less than one year after being fired from his CNN anchor job, the journalist announced Tuesday that he launched a new media company and it will be debuting a show via X, formerly known as Twitter.

The program, The Don Lemon Show, will allow him to come back “bigger, bolder [and] freer,” Lemon wrote. “It will be available to everyone, easily, whenever and wherever you want it, streaming on the platforms where the conversations are happening. And you’ll find it first on X, the biggest space for free speech in the world. I know now more than ever that we need a place for honest debate and discussion without the hall monitors.”

X confirmed the news in its own statement, saying the show — covering politics, culture, sports and entertainment — will stream three 30-minute episodes a week.

Variety reported that The Don Lemon Show will debut in the next few weeks. Oren Rosenbaum, head of audio and a partner at talent agency UTA, which represents Lemon, told the outlet, “Leveraging technology like AI and many decades’ worth of experience, Don will break news and provoke thoughtful conversation through his direct and unfiltered take on today’s most important stories.”

Elon Musk — who has been accused of letting misinformation flourish ever since he acquired the social media platform — first courted Lemon to do a show on X last May following his CNN firing.

Why was Lemon fired by CNN?

On April 24 of last year, Lemon was fired by CNN after 17 years of employment, the latter of which he co-anchored CNN This Morning. It was a messy exit, which left him “stunned,” he said when he announced the departure on social media. Lemon claimed network brass contacted his agent to relay that he had been fired just hours after appearing on-air for his morning show.

CNN issued its own statement, saying Lemon was given the chance to talk directly to management but instead opted to announce his exit on social media.

Lemon’s departure was preceded by a Variety exposé, published on April 5, detailing multiple alleged misogynistic incidents during his time at the network. Among the claims was that he threatened his Live From co-host, Kyra Phillips, when she got an assignment he wanted in 2008. He also was accused of making a derogatory comment about then-colleague Soledad O’Brien when she was tapped to host the network’s Black in America docuseries, another gig he wanted. He also reportedly mocked Nancy Grace on the air.

Lemon slammed the story, calling it “unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip.”

Prior to that, his primetime show, Don Lemon Tonight, was taken off the air in October 2022, and he was reassigned to daytime duties, launching CNN This Morning alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. On his new show, he was soon sidelined after comments he made about presidential candidate Nikki Haley were deemed sexist and ageist. He apologized, spent a few days off the air and underwent “formal training.” He had previously been called out for “sexist” remarks about the U.S. women’s soccer team during his short run on the air.

Lemon has long said he wanted to feel less restricted while covering the news, telling Variety in 2016 (while still hosting his CNN primetime show, “I would like it to be a little bit looser. I would love it to be like HBO. I would love to be able to say those things you never say on basic cable. I would love to be able to have those conversations the way Bill Maher does.”

One month after Lemon was fired by CNN, Musk floated the idea of him doing a show on X. At the time, Tucker Carlson — who was fired by Fox News the same day Lemon was axed from CNN — announced he was doing a free program on X, Tucker on X.

Along with Lemon’s new gig, X is launching new shows featuring former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and former ESPN star Jim Rome.

Experts predicted Lemon would pivot away from network news

When Lemon was given his walking papers from CNN, experts predicted that he wouldn’t resurface on another major news network due to the controversy around his firing.

“I don’t think any other major news network will touch [him],” Mark Feldstein, professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, told Yahoo Entertainment at the time.

Allison Butler, media critic and senior lecturer at University of Massachusetts Amherst, agreed, saying Lemon was “a risk” because had “spoken so problematically” and “fumbled so many times.”

Now he’s found a new home, one in which seemingly anything goes.

Source link