CNN’s morning show, CNN This Morning, featuring Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins, and Poppy Harlow, has been struggling to gain viewership since it launched last fall. The show recently dropped to its lowest level of viewership in the key demographic age range of 25-54 and overall average viewership. According to reports from Mediaite:
February saw CNN hit lows in the demo not seen in over ten years. CNN prime time demo average of 122,000 viewers, while still above MSNBC’s 119,000, marked the network’s smallest audience since 2013. Additionally, CNN’s 89,000 total day demo viewers was its worst showing since 2012. CNN saw a 41 percent drop in total day demo viewers from January, while Fox News dropped 35 percent and MSNBC was down 6 percent.
CNN’s new morning show, CNN This Morning, also saw its lowest numbers since its launch last fall. CNN This Morning brought in 360,000 average total viewers and 73,000 average demo viewers for the month. By comparison, Fox & Friends averaged 1.2 million total viewers and 170,000 average demo viewers for the month. MNSBC’s Morning Joe brought in 895,000 total viewers and 107,000 demo viewers.
The morning show has also found itself at the center of controversy following the actions of Lemon. Don drew criticism after a statement about the 2024 GOP presidential candidate stating women were past their prime in their 40s. “This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She says people, you know, politicians are something not in their prime. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry, a woman is in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s. That’s not according to me,” Lemon said.
The comment upset Lemon’s female co-hosts, who began to criticize his statement immediately. Don defended himself, “Depends on, just like prime. If you look it up. If you Google when is a woman in her prime, it’ll say 20s, 30s, 40s. I’m not saying I agree with that. I think she has to be careful about saying that, you know, politicians are in their prime.”
Another recent off-air incident involved Lemon allegedly screaming at his co-host Kaitlan Collins in a fit of rage that left Collins in tears. The Daily Mail reported:
Don Lemon allegedly ‘screamed’ at his CNN This Morning co-host after he accused her of interrupting him several times while on air. Kaitlan Collins, 30, ran off the set in tears on December 8 after the 56-year-old yelled at her in front of the television crew and their other co-host Poppy Harlow, sources told The New York Post.
CNN boss Chris Licht, who pledged to give CNN a makeover since taking over the outlet last year and then announced shocking layoffs, was supposedly stunned at the news and told Lemon to take the following day off to ‘cool off.’
CEO of CNN, Chris Licht, wrote in a memo, “I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation. He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously.” Between the falling ratings and various controversies, it’s starting to look like Don Lemon is on thin ice.
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