CNN Pushes Back on Report Don Lemon Received $24.5 Million Payout

By Mark Mwachiro 

On Tuesday, CNN pushed back on a recent report from The Wrap, which indicated that former primetime anchor Don Lemon received a $24.5 million separation payout.

According to the Wrap’s report, Lemon, who was let go from the network on April 24, 2023, agreed to a separation deal “for approximately $24.5 million, which would be the full complete pay from his final contract, which extended 3.5 years from his ousting.”

In a statement to TVNewser, a CNN spokesperson said, “While we never comment on specifics of any employee contract, this story is incorrect.”


CNN did not offer additional details.

Lemon was unceremoniously let go from CNN after a tumultuous run as a morning anchor for CNN This Morning. He left the network on the same day that Tucker Carlson lost his gig at Fox News—a monumental day in cable news history.

The anchor’s ousting can be traced back to March 2023, when Lemon faced uproar after making misogynistic remarks on CNN This Morning towards 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, stating that she was not in her prime and claiming that a woman is “considered to be in their prime in their 20s, 30s and maybe 40s.”

Lemon was suspended shortly after, but the writing appeared to be on the wall for his CNN career after CNN This Morning’s ratings failed to improve upon his return.

He blasted the network, which former CEO Chris Licht was running, for his surprise dismissal, saying via social media, “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.”

CNN later disputed Lemon’s account, saying, “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”

Interestingly enough, Lemon is using X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to resurrect his career. He plans to launch The Don Lemon Show, a triweekly, 30-minute show streaming on the social media platform.

According to the Monday edition of the CNN Reliable Sources newsletter written by Oliver Darcy, Lemon’s show will launch in March. 11.