(WTVO) — CNN This Morning anchor Don Lemon has been let go at CNN, according to Chairman and CEO Chris Licht.
“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,” Licht said.
Lemon said on Twitter that he was fired, according to NBC News.
“I am stunned,” Lemon wrote. “After 17 years at CNN I would have thought someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”
The announcement of Lemon’s firing comes on the same day that FOX News parted ways with host Tucker Carlson.
CNN is a year into new corporate management with Warner Bros. Discovery, which hired ex-CBS producer Chris Licht to run the network. The chief goal has been to rebuild trust as a non-partisan news brand after years of criticism by former President Donald Trump and his followers, at a time Fox and MSNBC have profited handsomely by appealing to specific points of view.
Licht’s biggest programming move to date, a revamp of “CNN This Morning,” hasn’t borne fruit in the ratings and has been beset by bad publicity, including Lemon’s ham-fisted reference to a woman’s prime years.
Changes to CNN’s daytime look are imminent. Licht’s vision for prime time is months away, though, and only beginning to take shape.
His plans are to couple news coverage with hosts from different worlds, including entertainment, who can talk about the news without a specific partisan take. Licht is exploring several possibilities, and CNN is reportedly close to deals with CBS’ Gayle King and former NBA star turned sportscaster Charles Barkley for shows that will air once a week, although the network wouldn’t confirm that.
If Licht’s bet pays off, CNN will strengthen its reputation as a news brand while also attracting viewers who are now watching Netflix or HGTV — not just competing news networks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.