Don Lemon reflects on CNN’s firing in April.
In conversation with Kara Swisher on her podcast Hinge, Lemon shared that he felt like CNN was getting ready to go in a different direction, and he didn’t fit that mold. The former CNN this morning co-anchor was fired two months after making comments about Nikki Haley no longer being in her prime.
“CNN, the strategy and their content and the direction they wanted to go, I wasn’t part of that,” said Lemon. “They didn’t want me to be a part of that, and I think that’s true, from what’s happened publicly with regard to CNN, with regard to management, and what they’re doing now, I think it’s clear that they didn’t want me to be a part of that And I think that’s a real problem that happened.
He explained that he hasn’t watched the network since he left, but when he was there he wasn’t part of their strategy of wanting to take center stage, which he found surprising. “I think the news is the news, and you don’t pick a direction, it just is,” he said.
When asked if Chris Licht was fired shortly after the former CNN head ousted the co-anchor, Lemon said it speaks to what happened before he was fired, adding that he feels “justified” knowing that Licht is not longer in charge.
“Read the story and you speak to the people who are there, and I think people understand what happened. All you need to do is the Atlantic Ocean story, read subsequent stories that came out and how it played out. They’re gone now. So do I feel justified in that sense? Yes, I do,” Lemon said, referring to the Atlantic Ocean position that forced Licht to apologize to staff during an editorial call at the time.
He also claimed that if Jeff Zucker had been running the network when Lemon made the comments about Haley, for which he apologized, things would have been different because he would understand that anchors say things all the time that they wish they could have done differently. formulate.
“I hadn’t gotten in trouble before for making mistakes, because I’d apologize for it or explain what I was about to say, and that would be fine because I think people understood that’s the way how it works on television,” he said. “I was never allowed to discuss the matter on air. I wish I could, but I never was.”
Lemon continued, “He understood that when you’re in those conversations, just like your regular conversations that you have at the dinner table or in a restaurant, you don’t always say things perfectly. … And he was very supportive of us and he wanted us not to be provocative per se, just be ourselves. And if we got something wrong, we apologized. We explained, and he supported us, and we moved on. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world or a big deal unless you’re looking for a reason to get rid of someone.”
Later in the conversation, he shared that he lives in the present and looks to the future, but he doesn’t look back on his past, noting that he had almost 17 great years with CNN despite leaving.
“There is no better person alive who could run CNN (than Jeff Zucker),” he added. ‘Do I think he’s going back? No. Do I think he’s going to buy it? You should ask him that. I doubt it. I don’t talk to him about those things. But why would he be in this environment? … If anyone could save CNN, if it needs to be saved – if you want to put it in that context – it would be Jeff Zucker.”