Don Lemon Fired by CNN After 17 Years at Network

Anchor Don Lemon attends CNN Heroes 2017 at the American Museum of Natural History on December 17, 2017 in New York City. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Don Lemon has been ousted from CNN, the longtime news anchor announced Monday on Twitter.

Lemon said CNN management didn’t even bother to tell him he was out.

“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN,” Lemon shared in a lengthy statement. “I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”

He continued, “At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play.”

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Lemon went on to praise his former co-workers.

“I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business and I wish them all the best.”

A statement posted on the official CNN Communications Twitter account confirmed that Lemon was out.

“CNN and Don have parted ways,” the post said. “Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”

Last year CNN canceled Lemon’s primetime show, Don Lemon Tonight, and moved him to mornings with little-known co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.

The changes were part of new CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht’s vision for the network.

The new show titled CNN This Morning wasn’t exactly a hit and posted lower ratings than the previous iteration of the morning news program called New Day.

In February of this year, Lemon made headlines after sparking outrage for saying former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was past “her prime.”

He made the comment while discussing Haley’s presidential campaign kickoff event a day earlier, where the Republican White House hopeful called for “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”

Haley, 51, was likely referring to President Joe Biden, who is 80, and former President Donald Trump, who is 76. Lemon said the Republican politician had no business making the comment.

“She says people, politicians are not in their prime,” Lemon told his co-hosts. “Nikki Haley is not in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”

Lemon added that if you look it up on Google, a woman is described as in her prime between those ages.

Reports surfaced at the time that CNN boss Licht had described Lemon’s comments as “upsetting.”

Lemon, 57, was briefly taken off the air. In an effort to put the scandal behind him, he agreed to undergo “formal training,” read a memo sent to CNN staffers.

When he returned to the anchor desk on Feb. 22, the ratings on CNN This Morning surged double digits.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lemon received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooklyn College.

His early jobs included working as an anchor and reporter for Fox affiliate KTVI in St. Louis, Missouri, and as a weekend anchor at WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama. He also held positions at NBC-owned stations WCAU in Philadelphia and WMAQ-TV in Chicago, where he won three Emmys for local reporting. He also previously worked as a correspondent for the Today show and NBC Nightly News.

Lemon joined CNN in September 2006.