Don Lemon ‘screamed’ at ‘CNN This Morning’ co-host in off-camera tiff: sources


Tensions on the set of “CNN This Morning” have just lately boiled over, with Don Lemon allegedly “screaming” at co-host Kaitlan Collins off-camera throughout an unpleasant December incident that has left the solid and crew rattled ever since, The Post has discovered.

According to 2 sources with data of the state of affairs, the 56-year-old Lemon approached 30-year-old Collins following the present’s Thursday Dec. 8 broadcast — and unloaded on her in entrance of staffers as he accused her of “interrupting” him on air.

“Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” one supply with data of the skrimish stated.

News of the explosive incident made its means as much as CNN CEO Chris Licht, who is claimed to have been appalled by Lemon’s conduct, based on a supply. A second supply stated a producer talked to Lemon on the behest of Licht and instructed the anchor to take the following break day to “cool off.”

Don Lemon (proper) lashed out at his co-host Kaitlan Collins (left) after a tense phase. Don Lemon/Facebook

The following night time, the three co-hosts have been slated to get drinks and arrive collectively at a White House Christmas social gathering for the press, a supply stated. But the pre-party gathering by no means occurred after the emotional day and so they trickled in to the bash individually, an insider with data stated. After the social gathering, Lemon had a late-night dinner along with his agent, Jay Sures, based on sources.

The state of affairs was particularly awkward as a result of Collins — a rising star who had most just lately served as CNN’s youngest chief White House correspondent — can be represented by the highly effective and well-connected Sures. While he dinned with Lemon, Collins met up with the present’s different co-anchor Poppy Harlow, the sources stated.

“At this point, Kaitlan wants to be on set with Don as little as possible,” a supply with data of the state of affairs added. “It’s messy.”

Poppy Harlow, Don Lemon, and Kaitlan Collins on CNN This MorningCo-hosts Poppy Harlow (L) and Kaitlan Collins (R) arrived on the White House Christmas social gathering with out Don Lemon (heart) after his blow up earlier that day. CNN/Twitter

Neither Lemon nor Collins responded to requests for remark.

A rep from CNN declined to touch upon the incident however stated: “In just three months, these anchors have created a compelling morning show that breaks news and drives the conversation.”

The Dec. 8 blowup wasn’t the primary signal of hassle at “CNN This Morning” for the reason that present’s Nov. 1 launch. Every week earlier, Lemon obtained into a clumsy dispute with Collins and Harlow on air, arguing that the US males’s soccer workforce ought to receives a commission greater than the ladies’s workforce regardless of the mens’ relative lack of success on the World Cup.

The dustup made headlines, with the Daily Beast quoting Lemon saying the lads have been “more interesting to watch”—a remark Lemon rapidly walked again and insisted was a joke.

chris litchCNN CEO Chris Licht was upset by Lemon’s conduct in direction of Collins and had the anchor take the following break day, sources stated. Getty Images for CNN

Late final month, Eric Hall, government producer of “CNN This Morning,” was reportedly ousted from the helm of the present and moved to a brand new position on the 11 pm hour of “CNN Tonight.” CNN did not touch upon the transfer. Earlier this week, the community tapped former CBS producer Chris Russell to exchange Hall.

Collins and Lemon, in the meantime, have been on set collectively much less incessantly for the reason that purported dustup. Lemon was most just lately despatched to Memphis to quarterback protection on the dying of Tire Nichols. Collins had been working remotely from Washington DC on and off in January.

A CNN rep stated Collins has been on task as she additionally serves because the chief correspondent for the present, including: “The intent was always for the anchors to get out from behind the news desk, and they are doing an extraordinary job taking viewers inside the most important news stories of the day.”

Kaitlan Collins, CNN Chief White House Correspondent and Don Lemon, CNN Anchor of Don Lemon Tonight at the Paramount White House Correspondents' Dinner after party at the French Ambassador's residence, in Washington, DC, on April 30, 2022. The Dec. 8 blowup by Lemon wasn’t the primary signal of hassle at “CNN This Morning” for the reason that present’s Nov. 1 launch. Lemon and Collins had a clumsy on-air dispute over equal pay for the US ladies’s soccer workforce.CBS by way of Getty Images

To deal with tensions, a second supply instructed The Post that “Don has been given notes” by the present’s producers “to not talk so much, to let other people talk.”

“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 supply added, referring to the music group headlined by Beyoncé within the early aughts.

Others near Lemon confirmed the previous primetime anchor is “not happy” about sharing the limelight with Harlow and Collins.

“Don has an intractable ego,” a supply near each Licht and Lemon stated. “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.”

A second supply who has labored with massive TV personalities, nonetheless, was inclined to chop Lemon some slack as he struggles to orient himself on a three-person present.

Sources stated Lemon was not comfortable about sharing the limelight with Collins and Harlow.Getty Images for CNN

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

Until November, Lemon had hosted his 10 pm present “Don Lemon Tonight,” however Licht canceled it amid lackluster rankings and moved him to the morning present, which airs weekdays from 6 am to 9 am

When information of the reshuffle broke, Lemon ripped stories that known as the transfer a «demotion.» In personal, in the meantime, a Lemon confidant instructed The Post that he “didn’t like” that Collins had labored for the right-leaning web site The Daily Caller earlier than her gig masking the Trump White House for CNN.

The Dec. 8 incident was talked about in passing in a report the next day by Puck News, which Lemon stated had “skipped” his internet hosting duties on the next broadcast because of “exhaustion.” The report by senior correspondent Dylan Byers stated Lemon wanted the break day after a “very tense segment” with Collins, who “repeatedly tried to speak over him as he was reading the news, to his apparent annoyance about her.”

“It’d be hard to blame Lemon for being annoyed,” Byers added. “He’s still a young man, to be sure.”

Media watchers stated that despite the fact that the present is slumping within the rankings, the co-hosts are studying to work collectively. Don Lemon/Facebook

The report raised eyebrows, as Byers can be represented by Sures’ Hollywood expertise company UTA. Industry sources stated Collins’ relationship with Sures, in the meantime, has gone downhill and that communication between them has been spotty.

A supply near Licht stated Licht’s relationship with Sures — who was as soon as floated by Puck as a possible candidate for the job now held by Licht — has been “tense at times.” But a supply with data stated Sures, who represents many CNN purchasers, met with Licht on the community’s New York headquarters Thursday.

Earlier this week, one other Puck report emerged, saying Collins was “having a hard time adapting to her new assignment as anchor” at “CNN This Morning” whereas revealing recent drops in rankings for the last-place present, which have sunk beneath these of 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-bulls–t reporter, but has yet to find her footing behind the desk, sharing the spotlight with older and more experienced anchors,” Byers wrote.

Neither Byers nor Sures commented.

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