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Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson Out at CNN and Fox News

The Take

  • Fox and CNN announced Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon’s departures on Monday morning. Carlson hosted Tucker Carlson Tonight, and Lemon was a co-host of CNN This Morning.
  • Carlson’s exit at Fox came just days after the network settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million.
  • Lemon’s firing came after CNN placed the host on leave for comments about Nikki Haley and canceled his nightly show.
  • The networks have yet to announce who will replace the hosts.

Tucker Carlson debuted on Twitter with a 10-minute broadcast on Tuesday, June 6. The broadcast was the first installment of what Carlson called “Ep. 1.” The host signed off by saying, “We’ll be back with much more, very soon.” The program, Tucker on Twitter, does not have a set schedule, and only one episode is out so far. 18 hours after the clip was first posted on Twitter, it was viewed over 75 million times on the social networking platform.

On Monday morning, Don Lemon announced that CNN had terminated his contract. When the news broke on social media, the host had just finished co-anchoring CNN This Morning; it was not addressed on air. There was no explanation for Lemon’s dismissal.

Fox News Media later announced they were parting ways with Tucker Carlson. Again, the network did not explain the host’s dismissal. Carlson last hosted Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News Friday night, and the network was running promotional materials for Monday’s episode that morning. 

As of press time, there has not been an announcement about replacements for the hosts on either network. Both Lemon and Carlson were well-known and considered stars on their respective networks.

Parting of ways

The exits of both hosts were abrupt. CNN This Morning is continuing as usual, while Fox News is replacing Tucker Carlson Tonight with Fox News Tonight on an interim basis.

On Monday afternoon, Fox News released a short statement saying, “Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.” The network did not reveal any cause for the exit.

Media reports speculate the departure was caused by several factors, including the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit, which unearthed Carlson’s internal criticism of Fox leadership. The host also faces a lawsuit from a former producer who alleges a hostile work environment. 

Don Lemon released a statement on Monday morning to social media, saying that CNN had fired him. In a staff memo, CNN chair Chris Licht wrote, “Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years.”

In recent months, Lemon has been accused of sexism and misogyny. The host was suspended from CNN This Morning in February for remarks he made about presidential candidate Nikki Haley. CNN found Lemon’s popularity had declined and had difficulty booking guests for on-air interviews.

What’s happening with their shows?

CNN continues to air CNN This Morning with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Caitlin Collins. The show is on each weekday starting at 6 a.m. ET and running until 9 a.m. Then, the show airs with different hosts from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Meanwhile, Fox replaced Tucker Carlson Tonight with Fox News Tonight with a rotating set of hosts. (Not unlike what Comedy Central is doing with The Daily Show hosts.) Early ratings show that the 8 p.m. slot formerly occupied by Carlson fell by around 0.55 million viewers on Monday.

We will update this page when we know who will replace Lemon, Carlson, and their respective shows.

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