Don Lemon ‘Screams’ at CNN Co-Host Behind-The-Scenes For Being Better Than Him

The new CNN morning show set a record low in rating last week. The trio of Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins, and Poppy Harlow averaged just 331,000 viewers, hardly registering among the Big 3 in cable news.

Morning viewers dislike Lemon even more than his former primetime viewers did, it appears.

And he isn't much more popular among his own staff.

The New York Post reported on Thursday that Lemon has "rattled" staffers after an incident involving Collins. In December, Lemon "screamed" at his co-host after an episode in which he accused her of interrupting him.

“Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” pens The Post.

"News of the explosive incident made its way to CNN CEO Chris Licht, who is said to have been appalled by Lemon’s behavior, according to a source. A second source said a producer talked to Lemon at the behest of Licht and told the anchor to take the next day off to 'cool off,'" the report adds.

Puck News first referenced Lemon's behavior in passing Dec. 9, the day after Lemon yelled at Collins. That article noted Lemon skipped his hosting duties the following day because of “exhaustion" after a “very tense segment” with Collins.

Ironically, Lemon does not want Collins to speak as frequently. Yet he's often the one bloviating at the viewers' expense.

Don't take our word for it, listen to the producers.

Show staffers have since handed Lemon pointers, asking him “to not talk so much, to let other people talk."

The Post adds the following details about a canceled dinner between the three co-hosts following the blow-up:

The following night, the three co-hosts were slated to get drinks and arrive together at a White House Christmas party for the press, a source said. But the pre-party gathering never happened after the emotional day and they trickled into the bash separately, an insider with knowledge said. After the party, Lemon had a late-night dinner with his agent, Jay Sures, according to sources.

Jay Sures, of the UTA talent agency, is of particular interest here. Sures reps both Lemon and Collins. He's the most powerful agent in cable news; certainly inside CNN. He now finds himself in the middle of a dispute between a highly-paid client, Lemon, and a 30-year-old budding star in Collins.

Either way, both of his clients are struggling on a morning show sans a notable audience.

Lemon blames Collins' talkative habits for the lack of on-air chemistry. But in actuality, his ego is the catalyst for the unhinged tantrum.

Despite his repeated denials, CNN demoted Lemon last fall. He ranked last among primetime hosts. His audience was diminishing perspicuously. He became a meme for the hyperpartisan stigma that new CNN management vowed to shed.

For example:


Lemon shares a set with two other women. He lost the editorial autonomy he had in primetime. His name is longer in the title of a show, going from "Don Lemon Tonight" to "CNN This Morning."

Don Lemon is fragile. And the demotion fractured his emotions. Thus, him verbally abusing a co-host.

A source told The Post he thinks he's Beyoncé, while the audience considers him the weak link of her former musical group:

“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."

Should CNN have to make a move, to choose between the co-hosts, what a pickle it'd find itself in.

Choosing the male co-host over the woman would alienate the feminist, Media Matters types. But CNN wouldn't dare demote a black guy, one with the race card at the core of his career, for a second time.

Would it?




Written by
Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics.. Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.