Don Lemon calls move away from primetime a ‘promotion’

In light of CNN’s restructuring, Don Lemon expressed his “honored” to be switching from a prime time to a morning show.

According to The Washington Examiner, Don Lemon said he wasn’t forced into the new morning show at the start of his show Don Lemon Tonight on Thursday. Chris Licht is the new CEO of CNN.

“I was presented with an opportunity that I can’t pass up at this network, and we have a new boss, who is a morning show impresario. And he wants a morning show that will kick off the editorial direction of the network every single day,” Lemon said.

“And I am honored that he asked me to do it. For all those out there that are saying he moved me — he asked me and I said yes. I could have said no. This is my show,” he added.

Lemon responds

“I have a contract for this show. I decided that I would take him up on that and take this journey with him, so this is not someone moving me,” Lemon went on.

“And by the way, this is not someone saying you must move to the right, Don Lemon, and you must not give so much of your perspective. None of that has happened. All of that is fodder for Twitter, which is not real, so stop it. I was not demoted — none of that. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion.”

The change was announced on Thursday when it was revealed that CNN Newsroom anchor Poppy Harlow and CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins will form a “reimagined morning news program” that will debut later this year.

“There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy, and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program,” Licht said in a press release.

Further statements made

“They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable, and compelling. Together, they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN’s resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we will offer a smart, bold, and refreshing way to start the day.”

Lemon stated on his Thursday show that he is thrilled to work with Collins and Harlow.

“I get to work with two great ladies who you know: Poppy Harlow, who I have known for more than a decade. I went to her wedding in Slovenia. I know her children. I know her husband. And Kaitlan Collins, same thing. We have been friends since Kaitlan has been at the network. So it’s just really great,” Lemon said.