CNN and other left-leaning mainstream media networks thrived while former President Donald Trump was in the White House, but since his departure, those networks have suffered nothing less than an absolute beating in the ratings game.
That’s why eyebrows were raised by CNN primetime star Don Lemon who, according to the Daily Caller, dropped the bombshell announcement on Friday night revealing that it would be his last airing of “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.”
Desperate head fake?
“I told you I had an announcement, and I do,” Lemon said on Friday evening. “It’s been really, really great. This is the last night that we’ll be CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.”
The announcement immediately went viral on social media, with many wondering what the primetime host was up to, with speculation ranging from a possible departure from CNN to a change in the lineup, given that CNN’s ratings have been so unbelievably poor over the past several months, especially Lemon’s.
“So I appreciate all the years of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” he added. “But changes are coming. And I will fill you in. But until then, I am very proud of my CNN special about Marvin Gaye’s groundbreaking album ‘What’s going on.'”
As it would turn out, it appears that Lemon was seemingly so desperate for attention that he purposely and deceptively caused a stir with the announcement in exchange for a few minutes of viral traction, as on Saturday morning he clarified what his announcement truly meant, which was simply a renaming of his nightly program.
“Didn’t mean to set the internet on fire,” he wrote Saturday. “What I said last night was true. ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon’ is no more. I’ll be back on Monday with my newly named show ‘Don Lemon Tonight.'”
CNN ratings are horrible
It honestly wouldn’t have been much of a surprise if Lemon was announcing his departure from the network, as on Friday, News Cycle Media president Jon Nicosia tweeted that a “big CNN anchor” would be leaving the network before the beginning of June. In a follow-up tweet, he clarified that he wasn’t speaking of Lemon.
Scoop: Before June 1 a big CNN anchor will be out the door.
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) May 15, 2021
Lemon’s departure also wouldn’t have been a surprise due to the massive ratings drop that CNN has experienced since President Joe Biden took office, with Fox News reporting in April that the network is down 36% overall in primetime ratings, with an even steeper drop of 47% in the coveted 25-54 demographic.
The struggling CNN host is one of the worst-performing primetime hosts in all of cable news, with his show only drawing an average of 764,000 viewers as of May 7, which was the second-lowest on a very long list. He was only bested by Anderson Cooper, who came in dead last with an average of 753,000 viewers.
Perhaps instead of faking out its viewers to garner news headlines, CNN executives should consider shaking up their primetime lineup with new blood if they’re interested in actually competing with other networks.