CNN’s morning show has been rocked by a December outburst from co-host Don Lemon, according to a new report.
The New York Post reported Thursday that Lemon argued with co-host Kaitlan Collins after the Dec. 8 broadcast of “CNN This Morning.” He accused Collins of “interrupting” him during the show, the report said, quoting a source it did not name.
“Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” one source with knowledge of the skirmish said.
Fox News reported that during a segment on the release of WNBA star Britney Griner from a Russian prison, there were several instances when Collins sought to speak while Lemon was doing so.
At one point, he wagged a finger at Collins and told her to “stand by one second.”
The report quoted a source as saying Lemon became “nasty” with her after the show.
The Post reported that Lemon was urged to take the next day off after word of the blowup reached CNN boss Chris Licht.
One fallout from the incident, the report said, was that instead of going together to the White House media Christmas party and meeting before the party for drinks, Lemon, Collins and fellow co-host Poppy Harlow all went separately.
After the party, Collins and Harlow went out but Lemon did not join them, the Post reported.
“At this point, Kaitlan wants to be on set with Don as little as possible. It’s messy,” a source was quoted as saying.
Since January, Collins – a former White House correspondent for CNN — has been reporting from Washington, according to the Post.
CNN has been trying to manage the situation in which Lemon, who prior to November had his own prime-time show, is now one of three co-hosts.
“Don has been given notes” by producers “to not talk so much, to let other people talk,” the Post said it was told by a source.
“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 said, referring to the group that once included Beyoncé until she left it behind.
Similarly, the celebrity gossip site Radar Online last week quoted a source as saying Lemon thought of Collins and Harlow as “his backup dancers.”
A source the Post said was “close to Licht and Lemon” said the flareup was part of the transition.
“Don has an intractable ego. My understanding is he wants the show to be about him. I don’t know how you fix that. It’s a very difficult situation,” the source said.
Another source noted that it was still early days for the CNN morning show: “It’s never smooth sailing in the beginning. They are all trying to get their sea legs.”
In Fox News’ report on the incident, it quoted a CNN representative as saying the Post’s version of events was “wildly overblown.”
“Don, Kaitlan, and Poppy were friends before they were co-anchors, and they remain friends today,” the representative said.
In November, “CNN This Morning” averaged 454,000 total viewers. That dropped to 389,000 in December and then to 373,000 in January.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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