Television April 24, 2023
Tucker Carlson & Don Lemon Are Both Out of a Job
On Monday, Fox News parted ways with “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host Tucker Carlson. Minutes later, it was confirmed that anchor Don Lemon was departing CNN.
In a statement about Carlson’s shock departure, Fox said, “Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st. ‘Fox News Tonight’ will air live at 8 p.m./ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating Fox News personalities until a new host is named.”
Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner also announced the news on the air, saying, “We have some news from within our Fox family. Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have mutually agreed to part ways. Tucker’s last show was this past Friday… We want to thank Tucker Carlson for his service to the network as host and prior to that as a long-term contributor.”
Carlson’s exit comes days after Fox News’ parent company settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million.
Lemon’s departure was less surprising, coming on the heels of several controversies and a time-slot change.
The “CNN This Morning” news anchor tweeted, “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned.”
“After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly,” Lemon went on. “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. It is clear 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 response to Lemon’s tweet, a spokesperson for CNN said, “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
CNN CEO Chris Licht confirmed Lemon’s departure in an email to staffers, which was obtained by USA Today. He said, “To my CNN Colleagues, CNN and Don have parted ways. Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. CNN This Morning has been on the air for nearly six months, and we are committed to its success."
The news comes more than two months after Lemon sparked controversy with his comments about Nikki Haley, who he said “isn’t in her prime, sorry” following her remark that, “America is not past our prime. It’s just that our politicians are past theirs.” At the time, he noted that a woman is “considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s,” saying he did not necessarily agree with that view.
Following widespread condemnation, Lemon later apologized.