Don Lemon ‘screamed’ at ‘CNN This Morning’ co-host, left crew ‘rattled’: sources

Tensions have risen on the set of “CNN This Morning” recently, with Don Lemon allegedly “yelling” at co-host Caitlan Collins off-camera during an ugly incident in December that has since caused turmoil among the cast and crew. has gone, learned the post.

According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, Lemon, 56, approached Collins, 30, after the show aired on Thursday, Dec. 8 — and dumped him in front of the crew because he accused her of “stopping.” . on air.

“Don yelled at Caitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” said a source with knowledge of the altercation.

News of the explosive incident reached CNN CEO Chris Licht, who, according to a source, was appalled by Lemon’s behavior. Another source said a producer spoke to Lemon at Leicht’s behest and told the anchor to take the next day off to “chill.”

Don Lemon (right) takes aim at his co-host Kaitlan Collins (left) after a tense segment.
Don Lemmon/Facebook

The next night, the three co-hosts were slated to have drinks and arrive together at the White House Christmas party for the press, a source said. But the pre-party gathering never happened after the emotional day and they went to the party separately, an insider said. According to sources, after the party, Liman had a late dinner with her agent Jay Source.

The situation was particularly awkward because Collins — a rising star who recently served as CNN’s youngest chief White House correspondent — was also represented by a powerful and well-connected source. Is. While she dined with Lemmon, Collins met the show’s other co-anchor, Poppy Harlow, the source said.

“At this point, Caitlan wants to stay on set with Dawn at least,” added a source familiar with the situation. “It’s dirty.”

Poppy Harlow, Don Lemon, and Caitlan Collins on CNN this morning
Co-hosts Poppy Harlow (L) and Caitlan Collins (R) arrive at the White House Christmas party without Don Lemon (center) after the blast earlier in the day.

Neither Lemon nor Collins responded to requests for comment.

A CNN representative declined to comment on the incident but said: “In just three months, these anchors have built a great morning show that breaks the news and moves the conversation.”

The Dec. 8 outburst on “CNN This Morning” wasn’t the first sign of trouble since the show’s Nov. 1 launch. A week earlier, Lemmon had an awkward spat with Collins and Harlow on air, arguing that the U.S. men’s soccer team should be paid more than the women’s team despite the men’s relative success at the World Cup. Should.

The dust-up made headlines with reference to the Daily Beast Men were “more interesting to watch,” Lemon says. – One comment Lemon quickly walked back and insisted it was a joke.

Chris Leicht
CNN CEO Chris Licht was upset with Lemon’s behavior toward Collins and placed the anchor on leave the next day, sources said.
Getty Images for CNN

Late last month, Eric Hall, the executive producer of “CNN This Morning,” was reportedly removed from the show’s leadership and moved to a new role in the 11 o’clock hour of “CNN Tonight.” CNN did not comment on the move. Earlier this week, the network tapped former CBS producer Chris Russell to replace Hall.

Collins and Lemmon, meanwhile, have been on set together less frequently since the purported dust-up. Lemon was recently sent to Memphis for quarterback coverage on the death of Tyre Nichols. Collins was working remotely from Washington, D.C., in January.

A CNN representative said that Collins was on assignment because she also serves as the show’s chief correspondent, adding: “The anchors were always meant to come out from behind the news desk, and that viewers doing a phenomenal job of taking in the most important news of the day.”

CNN Chief White House Correspondent Caitlan Collins and CNN anchor Don Lemon at the Paramount White House Correspondents' Dinner after party at the French Ambassador's residence on April 30, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Lemon’s Dec. 8 outburst on “CNN This Morning” wasn’t the first sign of trouble since the show’s Nov. 1 launch. Lemmon and Collins had an on-air dispute over equal pay for the U.S. women’s soccer team.
CBS via Getty Images

To ease the tension, a second source told The Post that “Don has been given notes” by the show’s producers to “don’t talk so much, let other people do the talking.”

“Don is a bossy guy and hard to work with — even he’ll admit it. He was a solo actor before. He doesn’t want to be in Destiny’s Child,” the source added, in the early aughts. I’m referring to the music group headlined by Beyoncé.

People close to Lemmon confirmed that the former primetime anchor is “not happy” about sharing the limelight with Harlow and Collins.

“Don’s ego is insufferable,” said a source close to both Licht and Lemon. “My understanding is that he wants the show to be about him. I don’t know how you fix that. It’s a very difficult situation.”

Another source who has worked with major TV personalities, however, was inclined to cut Lemon some slack as he struggled to present himself in a three-person show.

Sources said Lemmon was not happy about sharing the limelight with Collins and Harlow.
Getty Images for CNN

“It’s never been smooth sailing in the beginning,” the source added. “They’re all trying to get their sea legs.”

By November, Lemon had hosted his own 10 p.m. show, “Don Lemon Tonight,” but Licht canceled it amid low ratings and moved it to a morning show, weekdays at 6 a.m. It airs from 9:00 PM to 9:00 AM.

When news of the reshuffle broke, Lemmon tore down reports that called the move a “downsizing.” Privately, meanwhile, a Lehman confidante told The Post that he “didn’t like” that Collins covered the Trump White House for CNN before covering the right-leaning website The Daily Caller. What was the work?

The December 8 incident was mentioned in a report the following day. Pick news, who said Lemmon “abandoned” his hosting duties on the following broadcast due to “exhaustion”. Senior correspondent Dylan Byers reported that Lemmon needed a day off after a “very tense class” with Collins, who “repeatedly tried to talk about it when he read the news.” had been, to his apparent displeasure.”

“It would be hard to blame Lemmon for being angry,” Byers added. “He’s still a young man, for sure.”

Media watchers said that although the show is suffering from a dip in ratings, the co-hosts are learning to work together.
Don Lemmon/Facebook

The report raised eyebrows, as Byers is also represented by Source’s Hollywood talent agency UTA. Collins’ relationship with the source, meanwhile, has gone downhill and communication between them has been strained, industry sources said.

A source close to Licht said Licht’s relationship with Sures — who was once floated to Licht by Puck as a potential candidate for the job — “has been strained at times.” But the source, who represents many CNN clients, met with Licht at the network’s New York headquarters on Thursday, a source with knowledge said.

Earlier this week, another one Puck report emerged, saying Collins is “having trouble adjusting to her new assignment as anchor” on “CNN This Morning,” while revealing the latest drop in ratings for the last-place show. has been done, which has fallen below its predecessor “New Day”.

“Collins rose to stardom as a Trump White House correspondent, where she made a name for herself as a fearless, take-no-bills-t reporter, but she has yet to find her footing behind the desk, and “Share the spotlight with the older. Experienced anchors,” Byers wrote.

Neither Byers nor Soares had a comment.

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