CNN anchor Don Lemon is the victim of what critics have described as a publicity stunt over his future on the network.
Lemon repeatedly teased a major announcement he was going to make on “CNN Tonight” on Friday, even hinting that whatever he announced would be the “end of an era.”
Before shutting down his show, Lemon told viewers that “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” ended abruptly.
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“It was really, really great. This is the last night that will be ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon’, ”Lemon said. “So, I appreciate all the years of ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon’. But changes are coming. And I will inform you. “
The announcement sparked a wild backlash on social media, with fans and critics raising alarm bells about what it strongly suggested was a sudden departure from the liberal network.
Soon after, Lemon took to Twitter and assured his viewers that he would not be leaving CNN.
“Everyone calm down,” Lemon said. “I didn’t say I was leaving CNN, I just said it was the end of an era for ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.’ “
He added: “You will have to log in at 10 am Monday to see. ”
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Lemon later revealed that his show was simply renamed “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” to “Don Lemon Tonight”.
“I didn’t want to set the internet on fire. What I said last night was true, ”Lemon wrote on Saturday morning. “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is gone. I’ll be back on Monday with my newly named show Don Lemon Tonight. “
Washington Examiner writer Becket Adams blasted the coup, calling it “shameless self-promotion” in order to “resurrect” its “blazing ratings.”
“Lemon knows exactly what he’s doing. All the hype that followed her teased ‘announcement’ is no accident. Lemon purposely orchestrated a cycle of selfish mini-news to get people to tune into his stupid TV show, ”Adams wrote on Sunday.
NewsBusters analyst Nicholas Fondacaro has hit on the “tasteless rebranding.”
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“So CNN and Lemon have tried to pull off a ridiculous media stunt to get people to tune in to his show again, when they seem to be copying the name of the hugely popular Fox News Channel ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight”, he said. declared Fondacaro. a joke. It’s CNN. ”
Daily Wire reporter Ben Johnson accused Lemon of reporting “false news” about himself.
“CNN ended last week the same as every week: by fooling its viewers,” Johnson criticized.
Lemon is the only prime-time news anchor who consistently does not exceed one million viewers.