CEO stepping in as bossy Don Lemon reportedly has second blow-up on CNN morning show

As more details emerge about the tensions at CNN stemming from Don Lemon, the “CNN This Morning” co-host’s behavior after reportedly going “ballistic” again said it all.

The dust from the shakeup of Chris Licht stepping in as CEO of the outlet has yet to settle and some have been less receptive to changes than others. Evidently, this included ratings loser Lemon who was bucked from his primetime spot in the fall only to seemingly prove he can’t play nice with others.

After it was previously reported that the so-called journalist had “screamed” at his co-host Kaitlan Collins, allegedly for interrupting him on-air, leaving her “visibly upset and [running] out of the studio,” the coverage of the tiff elicited a similar response.

According to an insider who spoke to RadarOnline, when CNN published their internal newsletter in January, a month after Lemon reportedly blew up at Collins, “Don lost his mind internally and went ballistic at staffers after the CNN newsletter highlighted a story about him screaming.”

The outlet, having obtained a copy of the newsletter, said it contained a link to a New York Post article that read “Tensions on the set of ‘CNN This Morning’ have recently boiled over.”

As these details have come to light, the diva absconded to Hollywood with his partner, real estate agent Tim Malone, so the two could hobnob with celebrities at the Grammy Awards.

 

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Meanwhile, Lemon’s ego appeared to be writing checks it can’t cash as a source at CNN told Fox News Digital that Licht isn’t happy with the show’s performance which the CEO described as not “in the right place.”

“He thinks it needs work. The show needs to improve,” the source went on of the morning show which has seen ratings averages drop by more than 80,000 viewers since a mediocre debut at 454,000. More than 20 percent of that audience has left, bringing total viewership down to around 373,000 and the insider said, “It’s not tight enough. It needs to be produced better.”

As previously reported, an insider had described Lemon by saying, “Don’s a bossy guy and difficult to work with — even he would admit that. He was a solo act before. He doesn’t want to be in Destiny’s Child.”

The source speaking to Fox News Digital echoed that sentiment and said of the on- and 0ff-air issues between Lemon, Collins and their fellow co-host Poppy Harlow, “Don’s having a hard time sharing a show. He’s having a hard time sharing the spotlight.”

By contrast, Collins was described as more than amicable. “She is a dream. She’s so easy to work with. She’s not the problem.”

Another CNN insider joked to Fox News Digital with a reference to the GMA3 hosts fired from ABC after their affair had been made public, “Let’s just say they don’t have nearly the chemistry that TJ Holmes and Amy Robach have.”

A spokesperson for CNN denied concerns over squabbles and released a statement to Fox News that read, “Don, Kaitlan and Poppy were friends before they were co-anchors, and they remain friends today.”

As for their ratings problem, “CNN This Morning” is set to get a new executive producer after Eric Hall was pulled in January and The Hollywood Reporter had said Chris Russell, whom Licht had worked with at CBS News and currently produces for NewsNation would likely get the spot.

Whoever takes the role, it remains to be seen how they deal with Lemon’s ego.

Kevin Haggerty

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