It’s official. After 17 years at CNN, Don Lemon has been fired by the network. The news comes on the heels of a Variety report detailing the primetime-turned-morning anchor’s history of misogyny at CNN and several on- and off-air scandals.
Megyn was live on the air with her executive producer, Steve Krakauer, discussing the breaking news of Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News when word of Lemon’s firing came through. “Am I still employed by myself,” Megyn joked upon getting the news from her team. The two discussed what may have led CNN to finally part ways with the troubled anchor and the nature of the announcement.
Don Lemon Announces His Firing on Twitter
Lemon broke the news that he was let go on Twitter. The former CNN This Morning co-host tweeted around noon on Monday saying he was “stunned” to learn of his termination and claiming the news came from his agent – not CNN brass. “After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly,” he wrote in part. “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.”
About five minutes after Lemon’s missive, CNN tweeted its own statement thanking Lemon for his “contributions over the past 17 years” and wishing him the best “in his future endeavors.”
Later that hour, CNN released a second statement denying Lemon’s version of events. Calling his tweet “inaccurate,” the network said “he was offered an opportunity to meet with management.”
It’s no secret that Megyn has had her differences with Lemon, but she found herself sympathetic to his situation. “If that’s true that he was just told by his agent he was fired and they didn’t have the balls to tell him man to man, that’s just classless,” she said.” He’s got a right to complain about that.”
Why Don Lemon Was Fired
Between his comments about women over 50 not being in their “prime” and his behavior both on and off the air towards his CNN This Morning colleagues Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, Lemon has been making news instead of reporting on it for quite some time now. “The idea that Don Lemon is fired by CNN is not a shock,” Krakauer said. “There’s been a lot of rumblings for months that this is inevitable.”
Even so, it seemed like CNN was committed to the anchor based on comments from CEO Chris Licht and how long this has dragged on despite the mounting controversies – including reports that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to be interviewed by Lemon on Thursday. “Something must’ve happened here,” Megyn said. “There must have been something like a final straw.”
Lemon and CNN’s ‘Bad Breakup’
Seeing as the news of Lemon’s ouster came just minutes after Fox News confirmed it had parted ways with Carlson, Krakauer couldn’t help but read into the nature of the announcements. “Obviously, CNN put out their own statement, but, notably, Tucker Carlson has not spoken publicly about his exit at this point and certainly not in those terms that Don just did,” Krakauer said. “That’s a bad, bad breakup situation.”
Krakauer did, however, have an idea for what the two hosts could do next. “You know, I’m really excited for the Hannity & Colmes reboot called Carlson & Lemon,” he quipped.
You can check out Megyn’s full analysis of the media shakeups by tuning in to episode 535 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.