BLAND REBRAND: Don Lemon panned for desperate publicity stunt after suggesting he was leaving CNN – Fox News
CNN anchor Don Lemon is being panned over what critics described as a publicity stunt about his future at the network.
On Friday, Lemon repeatedly teased a major announcement he was going to make on “CNN Tonight,” even hinting that whatever he announced would be the “end of an era.”
Before closing his show, Lemon told viewers that “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” was abruptly ending.
“It’s been really, really great. This is the last night that will be ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,’” Lemon said. “So, I appreciate all the years of ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.’ But changes are coming. And I will fill you in.”
The announcement sparked a wild response on social media with both fans and critics sounding the alarm of what he strongly suggested was a sudden departure from the liberal network.
Shortly after, Lemon took to Twitter and assured his viewers that he was not leaving CNN.
“Everybody, calm down,” Lemon said. “I didn’t say I was leaving CNN, I just said that it was the end of an era for ‘CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.’”
He added, “You’ll have to tune in on Monday at 10 o’clock to see.”
Lemon later revealed that his show was simply being renamed from “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” to “Don Lemon Tonight.”
“Didn’t mean to set the internet on fire. What I said last night was true,” Lemon wrote Saturday morning. “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is no more. I’ll be back on Monday with my newly named show Don Lemon Tonight.”
Washington Examiner writer Becket Adams blasted the stunt, calling it “shameless self-promotion” in order to “resuscitate” his “flailing ratings.”
“Lemon knows exactly what he is doing. All the hype following his teased ‘announcement’ isn’t an accident. Lemon deliberately orchestrated a self-serving mini-news cycle to get people to tune into his stupid TV show,” Adams wrote on Sunday.
NewsBusters analyst Nicholas Fondacaro knocked the “bland rebrand.”
“So, CNN and Lemon tried to pull off a ridiculous media stunt to get people to tune into his show again, while they appear to copy the name of the very popular Fox News Channel show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Fondacaro said. “What a joke. This is CNN.”
The Daily Wire media reporter Ben Johnson accused Lemon of reporting “fake news” about himself.
“CNN ended last week the same way it ends every week: by misleading its viewers,” Johnson slammed the network.
Lemon is the only primetime news anchor who regularly fails to exceed 1 million viewers.