CNN This Morning has been scrapped just 18 months after the show started following poor ratings and the departures of two of its hosts.
The program was axed following a series of upheavals including the dramatic firing of host Don Lemon last year, and the switch of another host Kaitlan Collins to her own sbow, according to Page Six.
CNN This Morning was plugged as a show which would provide viewers with ‘accuracy’ and ‘context’ on news stories across America when it was launched in November 2022.
But it was marred by scandals including the firing of controversial host Lemon after he made a string of sexist slurs on air and insulted an alleged rape victim during an interview.
The dramatic departure came amid rising tensions between Lemon and his co-host at the time Collins, after he allegedly reduced her to tears by ‘screaming’ at her in front of the television crew and the third host Poppy Harlow.
CNN This Morning has been scrapped just 18 months after the show started following poor ratings and the departures of two of its hosts, Don Lemon (pictured center) and Kaitlan Collins (pictured right)
Sources told the New York Post that Lemon, 57, exploded at Collins, 31, on December 8 2022, accusing her of interrupting him several times while on air. Collins allegedly ran off the set in tears.
Collins also left the show in Spring 2023 to take over the network’s prized 9pm timeslot left vacant by Chris Cuomo’s high-profile sacking, leaving Harlow as the only member of the original trio left standing.
Now, the current hosts – Harlow and Phil Mattingly – will come off the air, according to Page Six.
It comes as thousands of CNN viewers are abandoning the network during its attempted turnaround by recently departed CEO Chris Licht.
Cable news ratings are down across the board compared to 2022, when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine dominated the news, but CNN’s dip is the most dramatic – with a 61 percent plummet in primetime views recorded in March 2023.
Lemon was unceremoniously fired from CNN via his agent in April 2023 after 17 years with the network, prompting the host to tweet that he was ‘stunned’ that management did not have ‘the decency’ to tell him directly.
CNN’s communications team disputed this claim, saying his tweet was ‘inaccurate’.
In February 2023, Lemon sparked accusations of sexism after he said presidential candidate Nikki Haley was ‘past her prime’, prompting an excruciating exchange with his This Morning co-hosts.
Alongside Collins and Harlow, Lemon was discussing Haley’s proposal that politicians ages 75 and up should face mental competency tests.
Lemon, who at 56 is five years older than Haley, 51, said the politician should tread lightly because ‘a woman is in their prime in their 20s and 30s and maybe 40s’.
In September, the anchor asked Republican panelist SE Cupp, 43, if she was suffering from ‘mommy brain’ after losing her train of thought.
Cupp was discussing the future of the Republican party when she began stumbling over her words.
Lemon jumped in and attempted to complete her sentence before asking: ‘Did you lose your train of thought? I do it all the time,’ Lemon said.
He then asked: ‘Is it fair to say this, because I’m not a mommy, but is it “mommy brain”?’
Cupp appeared bewildered by the question before answering: ‘No. I just forgot what I was going to say.’
This is a breaking news story. Updates to follow.