Longtime Host and Anchor Don Lemon Was Fired by CNN: "I Am Stunned"

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Apr. 25 2023, Updated 9:52 a.m. ET

Don Lemon attends the 2023 Center Dinner on April 13, 2023
Source: Getty Images

On April 24, 2023, CNN announced it was parting ways with longtime host and anchor Don Lemon. The network and journalist confirmed the news in separate statements on social media.

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Well, what happened? Why is Don Lemon leaving CNN? Keep reading for all the known details.

Don Lemon attends the Michael Kors Runway Show on Feb. 15, 2023
Source: Getty Images
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Why is Don Lemon leaving CNN?

In an announcement that left the anchor "stunned," CNN declared it was ending its longtime relationship with Don Lemon. He was best known for co-hosting CNN This Morning alongside Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow.

"CNN and Don have parted ways," the network said in a statement via Twitter. "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."

Don Lemon revealed he was fired by CNN.

Despite the network keeping things professional, Don Lemon did the exact opposite. In a lengthy statement shared on Twitter, the star anchor told his followers that his agent abruptly informed him that CNN had fired him.

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Don Lemon wears a black blazer and cream-colored turtleneck to the 16th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on Dec. 11, 2022
Source: Getty Images

"I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN," he said. "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. 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."

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Don added, "It is clear that there are some larger issues at play. With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best."

In a follow-up statement, CNN disputed Don's comments regarding the situation: "Don Lemon's statement about this morning's events is inaccurate," the network tweeted. "He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter."

According to The New York Times, CNN has recently experienced difficulty in booking guests to appear on-air with Don following his controversial comments about presidential candidate Nikki Haley. The outlet also reported that research on CNN This Morning showed that his popularity with audiences had declined.

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