CNN has parted ways with Don Lemon, its star anchor who had a rocky start as the co-host of a new morning show.
“Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years,” the network said in a statement. “We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”
In a tweeted statement, Lemon said that his agent told him Monday that his contract had been terminated, criticizing CNN leadership for not having the “decency” to tell him directly.
“It is clear that there are some larger issues at play,” he wrote.
CNN responded saying Lemon’s statement is “inaccurate.”
“He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter,” the network’s public relations team said.
Lemon’s ouster was the second major shakeup in cable news on Monday. Minutes earlier, Fox News announced that it has parted ways with star primetime host Tucker Carlson.
Lemon joined CNN in 2006 and hosted a late evening show from 2014 to 2022. Late last year he was announced as a co-host of the new show "CNN This Morning," alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Lemon came under fire in February after making remarks about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley which were widely seen as sexist. In a segment broadcasted live on-air, Lemon said that Haley "isn't in her prime," adding that "a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s."
When asked about Lemon at the Semafor Media Summit earlier this month, CNN CEO Chris Licht said he "is a lightning rod because he really came to prominence during an era where that was celebrated and encouraged in prime time ... The world has moved on from that. Don has moved on from that."