Don Lemon Announces Whether He's Really Leaving CNN After Surprising Broadcast

Don Lemon took to Instagram to clear up the rumors that he's leaving CNN after more than 14 years on the cable news channel.

By Kaitlin Reilly May 15, 2021 5:15 PMTags
Watch: Don Lemon Clarifies Leaving CNN Remark He Made On-Air

Don Lemon isn't going anywhere. 

On Friday, May 14, the journalist surprised fans when he seemingly implied that he was leaving CNN Tonight. 

"It's been really, really great," the anchor said during the show's broadcast. "This is the last night that will be CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. So, I appreciate all the years of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, but changes are coming, and I will fill you in."

As many viewers assumed this meant Don was leaving the network, he quickly took to Instagram later that evening to clarify his comments, writing, "Whoa. It's not what you think. I'm not leaving CNN. Tune in at 10pE on Monday and I'll explain. Not to worry."

Don finally cleared up the situation on Saturday, May 15, with a post on Instagram. He wrote in the caption, "Didn't mean to set the internet on fire. What I said last night was true. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is no more. I'll be back on Monday with my newly named show Don Lemon Tonight."

2017 CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute

Fans expressed their relief in the comments section. 

"So you just gave up heart palpitations for fun," one joked. "Ecstatic to know you are not leaving, just getting a new look!!!"

Another added, "Whew! You are the one I watch faithfully and the one who got me through the last 4 years of insanity." A third commented, "Not even funny Don. I had way too many martinis last nite and didn't want to tune in to hear bad news! My hangover this morning at work is your fault. Send a cure!"

Michael Stewart/Getty Images for Big Apple Circus

Don first joined CNN in 2006 and has since become a beloved figure on the network who has made headlines for bringing on divisive guests for candid conversations about controversial topics. He is also the author of two books, the 2011 memoir Transparent and This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism, which hit shelves this year. 

Don, who in 2019 proposed to his now fiancé, real estate agent Tim Malone, spoke to People in March about how his most recent book helped him get through a challenging year.

"The pandemic and the quarantine really took a toll on a lot of us. It did me as well, because imagine all the things that I was dealing with: George Floyd and all of those things, an election and an insurrection and someone trying to overturn the election and all of these things going on in my life and try not to get COVID and deadly pandemic," Don explained. "And I got a little depressed. And I think that helped me to realize what's important—and so then I got into this book, I got it out in the book and once the book came out, some of that pressure started to release."


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