CNN’s New Year’s Eve celebration coverage will return next month, but coverage will be different.
For instance, the network says most of its anchors, reporters and folks behind the scenes will not be permitted to drink alcohol, reports Variety’s Brian Steinberg.
During CNN’s town hall meeting on Tuesday, chairman and CEO Chris Licht said that having CNN’s talent drinking on camera could erode their credibility and that the network’s “respectability” could be damaged among viewers.
CNN’s New Year’s coverage has tended to lean more towards the wild side compared to what is offered at other outlets. Anderson Cooper, who has hosted CNN New Year’s Eve Live for years, is often seen being pressured into taking shots (usually against his will), alongside Bravo Watch What Happens Live host/New Year’s Eve Live co-host and friend Andy Cohen.
Don Lemon’s portion of the coverage has been even more wild. Lemon has gotten his ear pierced on-air, and one year went on a rant about being a “grown ass-man.”
AC360 correspondent Randi Kaye reported from live from Denver holding a lit weed joint during the 2017 telecast. (Kaye reiterated to Cooper and Cohen at the time that marijuana use was legal in the Mile High City.)
All of that could be gone come this December.
The network, not trying to be a total buzzkill with the news, will still allow Cooper to indulge with Cohen while he is on the air.
On Wednesday’s edition of Watch What Happens Live, Cohen responded to news of the taming of the celebrations by saying, “Anderson and I are going to party harder than we have ever partied before on New Year’s Eve! Do you understand me?!”
— WWHL (@BravoWWHL) November 17, 2022