CNN host Don Lemon revealed on Thursday that he felt the political focus of his nixed primetime show had become stale prior to his move to the struggling cable network’s revamped morning show.
Lemon, who will co-host the new “CNN This Morning” from Nov. 1, said he was getting “tired” of the politically charged nature of primetime news.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that was a factor,” Lemon told Semafor in an interview published Wednesday.
The left-leaning anchor was known for often targeting former President Donald Trump in nighttime monologues.
“Look, has it been frustrating in recent years to deal with politics like in primetime? Yes. Was I fed up? In some ways it’s gotten old,” Lemon told the outlet. “But I also think we moved on to another time.”
Lemon noted changes in the news cycle as the war in Ukraine supplanted Trump’s mania as CNN’s main talking point in primetime, adding that he was “ready to move on and I think the public is ready to move on too.” to go.”
The 56-year-old anchor couldn’t resist taking another shot at Trump, telling Semafor, the former president, “didn’t have the courage” to submit to an interview on his primetime show, “Don Lemon Tonight.”
Lemon moves from primetime to mornings as CNN President Chris Licht leads an overhaul of the network. Light and top brass at WarnerBros. Discovery is trying to shift the network toward centrist reporting rather than the opinion-based programming that has seen its ratings plummet.
Lemon denied that nudging the network under new leadership was “inconvenient” and expressed support for Light’s vision.
“I really like Chris. When I read stories about what’s happening at CNN and about Chris and what he’s doing, I think it’s unfair,” Lemon said. “I think people should give him a chance. Everyone has a new vision when they come in as a new boss. Let’s see what his vision is and how it plays out.”
The nixed “Don Lemon Tonight” struggled with low ratings prior to CNN’s uproar. Despite losing a coveted primetime gig, Lemon has insisted his shift to mornings is a “promotion.”
Lemon is set to host “CNN This Morning” along with fellow anchors Kaitlin Collins and Poppy Harlow. The show airs on weekdays from 6am to 9pm
He also gave a glimpse of how he plans to approach his new gig, telling Semafor that he will “wear what I wear in my normal day-to-day life” to reflect the more casual environment.
“I’m just going to be myself. It seems to have worked in the company for decades,” Lemon said. “I’m really not worried about the ratings. I’m concerned about making it the best morning show possible and appealing to multiple demographics and people interested in things other than raw, tribal politics.”