CNN’s Don Lemon to Have ‘Formal Training’ Before Returning to Air

CNN’s Don Lemon to Have ‘Formal Training’ Before Returning to Air

CNN’s embattled morning anchor Don Lemon will return to the air on Wednesday but will also have to participate in “formal training” following his remark last week that GOP 2024 presidential candidate, and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, 51, was past “her prime.”

“I think it is the wrong road to go down,” Lemon said during a broadcast last week, criticizing Haley for making an issue of President Joe Biden’s age. “She says people, you know, politicians or something, are not in their prime. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry — when a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”

Lemon’s co-anchors, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins appeared uncomfortable with the remark and pushed back on Lemon’s assertion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

In addition to making his colleagues uncomfortable, Haley responded to the 56-year-old anchor in her own post on Twitter on Feb. 16.

“To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for Sexist middle-aged CNN anchors,” her tweet said. “Only for people who make our laws and are 75+.”

According to the Journal, CNN head Christopher Licht reprimanded Lemon during an editorial call last Friday, a day after the broadcast, and Lemon was not on the air for the show Monday or today.

Mediaite reported Tuesday that Licht sent out a company memo in which he said Lemon would undergo “formal training” at some point and will return to the show tomorrow.

“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation,” Mediaite reported Licht saying in the memo. “It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.”

Last year, the network moved Lemon from his own primetime show at 10 p.m. to the newly remodeled morning show as a part of several personnel shakeups at the network which included firing media reporter Brian Stelter and ending the long-running “Reliable Sources” media critique show on Sunday mornings.

“As a result Brian Stelter will leave the company,” a CNN spokesperson told CNN Business in August, 2022. “We appreciate his contributions to the network and wish him well as he embarks on new endeavors.”

The New York Post reported in January that the network’s ratings have continued to sink despite Licht’s efforts to rebrand the news channel.

According to that report, CNN finished third in primetime with just 311,000 average viewers compared to second place MSNBC with 1.2 million average viewers, and top spot FOX News with 2.1 million average viewers.

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