CNN announced Thursday morning that, after a nine-year run, their morning show New Day would be canceled this fall as new CNN boss Chris Licht and new parent company Discovery continue to remake the far-left, low-rated network and replaced with a yet-to-be-named newscast starring longtime CNNers Don Lemon and Poppy Harlow and chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.
CNN said in a statement that current New Day co-hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar would “continue to anchor New Day until the new program premieres” when they will thereafter “assume new roles at the network later this year.”
The obvious highlight and takeaway from this new trio is Lemon, the far-left, deeply partisan evening host who had helmed anywhere from one to two hours of primetime starting in 2014. Originally borne as CNN Tonight, it became Don Lemon Tonight in May 2021.
Chronicled with diligence and humor (with a side of fact-checking) by our Nick Fondacaro for seven years, Lemon had established himself as a home for rampant partisanship, snarky commentaries, yelling, and venom toward conservatives.
From 2018 to 2021, Lemon tag-teamed with friend and former colleague Chris “Fredo” Cuomo for what they dubbed “the handoff” and produced a steady stream of NewsBusters content and a now-defunct CNN podcast by the same name.
Going back to the future, the CNN press released promised a “reimagined morning show” and was Licht’s “first major programming move since taking the helm of CNN in May.”
Licht hilariously claimed “[t]here is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing,” “smart, bold and refreshing” newscast, adding the trio “are each uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry.”
The release swooned over Lemon as “one of CNN’s most recognizable news personalities” over his 16-year-tenure. For his part, Lemon gave thanks to his team and described how he “was honestly floored when Chris Licht asked me.” For Harlow, she said it will be “a gift” while Collins said she was “thrilled to start this new adventure” (click “expand”):
“The last eight years have been an incredible ride. I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of the best show teams in the business, but it’s time to shake things up. I am so appreciative of the Don Lemon Tonight team, my wonderful, loyal viewers and everyone who has believed in me,” said Lemon. “I was honestly floored when Chris Licht asked me to do this and I’m honored by his belief in me. It’s going to be a thrill to take on this challenge with Poppy and Kaitlan. I’ll get to work with two of my dearest friends. Set your alarms folks, because we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
“What a gift to be able to sit beside Don and Kaitlan each morning. Don has been one of my closest friends for more than a decade — there for every milestone along the way. I’m consistently in awe of Kaitlan’s reporting and the remarkable woman she is,” said Harlow. “I can’t wait to laugh with them and learn from them each morning. I am grateful to Chris and my CNN family who have been so supportive of me.”
“I am thrilled to start this new adventure at CNN and work alongside Don and Poppy, two colleagues I deeply admire,” said Collins. “To go from sharing my reporting on their shows to sitting at the desk alongside them is an incredible opportunity and I’m deeply humbled by it. I’m so grateful to Chris and CNN for building something truly special. I can’t wait to wake with our viewers and do the news every day. So pour a cup of coffee and join us!”
Harlow will start her day three hours earlier after six years co-hosting the weekday morning’s edition of CNN Newsroom from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Eastern alongside co-host, former Obama official, and beloved Resistance figure Jim Sciutto.
Collins will become a host for the first time following six years as a CNN White House correspondent. Before that, she was a reporter for our friends at the Daily Caller.
New Day went through at least five different co-host combinations for its weekday version and three for the weekend show since its inception on June 17, 2013 meant to jumpstart their AM schedule following the failure of Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien (who’s not reduced to a syndicated TV show and Resistance troll).
Despite all those reboots, the show floundered, finishing as the lowest-rated show on major cable news (CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC) and often would lose in at least one hour to a primetime show on Newsmax.