CNN Moves Don Lemon and Others to New Morning Show in Major Network Shake Up

On Thursday morning CNN announced that it is moving primetime anchor, Don Lemon, to a new morning show, that he will co-anchor along with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. It’s the latest in a series of programming changes by the network’s new CEO, Chris Licht.

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Donald Trump, CNN

The move out of primetime for Lemon may look on the surface like a demotion. However, mornings are one the biggest revenue generating time periods in television news and it gives Lemon three hours daily instead of two. So it’s hard to assess whether there was any intention on the part of Licht to suppress Lemon’s generally liberal-leaning views. The test will come when we see his presentations in the new morning lineup, and when Licht announces who gets the now vacant primetime slot. Licht also still has an open slot where Chris Cuomo used to air.

RELATED: CNN Cancels ‘Reliable Sources’ – Brian Stelter Walks – As Network Leans to the Right

For his part, Lemon celebrated the change saying that it was “time to shake things up,” and that he was “honored by [Licht’s] belief in me.” CNN’s announcement stated that…

“The network on Thursday unveiled a new marquee morning program that will debut later this year, anchored by stars Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins. […] In recent weeks, Licht has started to put his stamp on the network’s programming, with the announcement of the new morning show his most significant move to date.”

Nevertheless, partisans on both sides are staking out positions on the move. Keith Olbermann addressed it with the benefit of his personal past experience at MSNBC with Licht…

“Chris Licht (who, when we worked together at msnbc, I believed used to eat paste) has now surrounded Don Lemon with an ex-Daily Caller “journalist” and somebody who last month demanded an apology from Biden to Republicans.”

On the other side, Sean Hannity of Fox News weighed in with his customary lack of any beneficial experience (also misspelling the name of “Christ” Licht}, saying that…

“LEMON LOSES PRIMETIME: Don Downgraded to Morning Show Slot”

CNN recently merged with Discovery Networks, which has a notably conservative executive team and board of directors. When Licht was hired to run the network it seemed like a positive choice considering that he was previously the producer of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” But that may have been a premature assessment.

Licht almost immediately began making statements about how he is more interested in cutting back on news analysis in favor of just presenting a dryer, context-free brand of straight news. And his first programming decision was to cancel Brian Stelter’s “Reliable Sources.”

If CNN’s new management thinks that striving for some form of artificial neutrality is going to garner them more ratings or respect, they will be sadly mistaken. The right is going to demonize them no matter what they say. They have the “CNN = Communist News Network” baked in. And Donald Trump has already started lying about what’s going on at the network:

RELATED: Big Liar Donald Trump Lies Bigly that CNN Has Prohibited Saying the Phrase ‘The Big Lie’

There could be pluses and minuses about this program change. Lemon has a strong following and could provide some serious competition for Fox and Friends and Morning Joe on MSNBC. But how the primetime hours will be filled is going to tell us more about the direction CNN is headed. If Jim Acosta moves into the timeslot, there may yet still be hope. If it’s Chris Wallace, not so much.

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CNN Cancels ‘Reliable Sources’ – Brian Stelter Walks – As Network Leans to the Right

Thursday afternoon CNN announced that it is cancelling it’s longest running program, and the only credible media analysis show on TV, “Reliable Sources.” It’s host, Brian Stelter, has also announced that he will leave the network.

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CNN, Brian Stelter, Reliable Sources

This Sunday will be the last episode of Reliable Sources. The decision comes shortly after CNN’s parent, Warner Bros., was bought by Discovery Networks, whose CEO David Zaslov is notoriously conservative. Discovery also has on its board of directors John Malone, a longtime right-winger and Trump supporter.

RELATED: Big Liar Donald Trump Lies Bigly that CNN Has Prohibited Saying the Phrase ‘The Big Lie’

The new company hired former “Late Show” producer Chris Licht to run the network. And while that might have seemed like a promising choice, Licht has been making statements about how he is more interested in cutting back on news analysis in favor of just presenting a dryer, context-free brand of straight news.

If they think that trying to stake out a neutral position is going to garner them more ratings or respect, they haven’t been paying attention. The right is going to demonize them no matter what they say if it less than wholly adoring of the right-wing, ultra-MAGA narrative. They already regard bland, non-partisan news readers like Wolf Blitzer as radical lefties. They think Joe Manchin is a socialist. Given the blind, knee-jerk biases of their conservative critics, it makes no sense to try to mollify them. Journalistic ethics requires a commitment to reporting the truth, even when it means calling liars liars. Especially when it means calling liars liars.

Reliable Sources has been an island in a rocky media sea where so many of the players are either slanted to the right or consumed by the need to “balance” stories with conservative lies just to avoid being perceived as “liberal.” CNN could not have picked a worse time ditch a program that helped people become more media literate. Phony neutrality will be perceived as weakness and will shortchange the audience who need more contextualization, not less.

The impact of this cancelation can be assessed by the reactions of the right-wing pundits who never watched it. Twitter was trending all afternoon with derogatory remarks about the program and its host that aren’t worth repeating here. Suffice to say that they were uniformly infantile and devoid of any actual substance.

For its part, Fox News had two stories about the cancelation on their website. They were titled “Brian Stelter out at CNN as network cancels media show ‘Reliable Sources'” and “‘Later, Tater!’ Twitter says goodbye to Brian Stelter after CNN cancels his show.” Both articles reinforced the Fox News hatred for professional journalism standards. And it’s notable that there were two of these articles on CNN, but not a single story on the website’s front page about the CFO of The Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, pleading guilty to 15 felonies. UPDATE: There have two more stories on CNN, but still no story on Weisselberg.

While right-wingers across the InterTubes are celebrating the news of Stelter’s departure as if it was an obituary, Stelter is actually going to be pretty busy. Setting aside whatever new TV role he may assume, he is currently a producer of “The Morning Show” on Apple TV+, a successful adaptation of his book, “Top of the Morning.” It stars Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell, and has received eight Emmys and 53 nominations. He is also the author of the bestseller, Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.”

RELATED: CNN’s Brian Stelter’s Killer Video Mash Up: Tucker Carlson is the New Alex Jones

It is disappointing that CNN would cancel this unique program at this time. And it portends trouble going forward if they continue in this direction. The media is sorely in need of honest self appraisals. Reliable Sources did that covering TV, radio, print and the Internet. Now there aren’t any programs that are dedicated to that mission. It’s a sad state of affairs, and one that Stelter himself noted in his goodbye tweet…

“I loved anchoring @ReliableSources. It was a rare privilege to lead a weekly show focused on the press at a time when it has never been more consequential.”

UPDATE: Predictably, Trump has weighed in with his customary childish BS, saying that “Brian Stelter of Fake News CNN got fired because he lied, and lied, and lied – ABOUT ME. May he REST IN PEACE!” Of course, Stelter was NOT fired, he quit. And Trump can’t cite a single alleged lie. And Stelter, as noted above, is far from dead. Can’t the same about Trump.

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Big Liar Donald Trump Lies Bigly that CNN Has Prohibited Saying the Phrase ‘The Big Lie’

For more than a year and a half America’s biggest crybaby, Donald Trump, has been whining petulantly about having lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden. Trump’s humiliation is surely compounded by the fact that he couldn’t even defeat a man that he tried unsuccessfully to portray as a senile socialist.

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Donald Trump, CNN

Consequently, Trump’s obsession has led him to incessantly peddle his ludicrous and unsupported allegations that the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him. Despite not being able to produce a shred of evidence, and undeterred by having lost more than sixty court cases, Trump persisted with his fantastical distortions of reality. Eventually his flagrant deceit was referred to simply as “The Big Lie” by the press, presumably to differentiate it from the thousands of other lies he’s told since he commenced his calamitous political career.

RELATED: Pathological Liar Trump Says He is ‘the Most Honest Human Being God Ever Created’

Now, in an Olympian feat of irony, Trump is actually lying about the use of the phrase “the Big Lie.” During a speech before his worshipful disciples at the ultra-rightist “Faith and Freedom” conference, Trump boldly blasphemed before the evangelical audience saying that…

“They know the Big Lie is actually the Big Lie in reverse. And they have great liability, and they don’t wanna use it. But they came down with an edict – they came down with a statement it was announced yesterday – that CNN is prohibited from ever using the term the ‘Big Lie’ again. I wonder why? We’re getting closer, but we have to fight some very sick and very evil people.”

To no one’s surprise, Trump is once again strangling the life out of the truth. What he’s referring to is a report that CNN’s new president, Chris Licht, expressed his preference that the use of the phrase “the big Lie” be discouraged. According to Mediaite, Licht said that “he preferred that staff avoid the term. He made clear this was a preference, not a mandate.”

So Licht is not opposed to the phrase because it is inaccurate, but because he thinks it hews too closely to the branding by Democrats, and he doesn’t want the network to be perceived as partisan. But in Trump’s cartoon brain there is some sort of “liability” on CNN’s part. Never mind that Trump’s legal acumen is notoriously lacking in any recognizable form of logic. Mediaite’s reporting added that Licht “encouraged producers to instead use the terms ‘Trump election lie’ or ‘election lies’ in banners and graphics.” So plainly his editorial position remains that Trump is lying about the election and that it’s permissible to say so.

RELATED: Trump Posts ‘Foolproof’ Evidence that the Election Was ‘Rigged’ But it’s Only Proof for Fools

Trump’s deliberate misrepresentation of Licht’s remarks is just the latest lie he has let loose, though not the biggest. And he continues to excrete his warped view of the world, even as his treasonous criminality is being probed by Congress. In the same speech Trump dropped another self-incriminating outburst wherein he literally confesses to how he pressured Mike Pence to illegally obstruct Congress from carrying out its constitutional duty to certify Biden’s victory:

“So they say we lost. don’t believe it. So they said [yelling] ‘Mike Pence can’t do anything.’ Then right after this whole event, they started working so they could make what they said true. Because the truth is he could have sent it back to the state legislature. […] So I said to Mike, ‘If you do this, you can be Thomas Jefferson.'”

Of course, every credible constitutional expert agrees that Pence had no legal authority to reject the results of the election that had been certified in all fifty states by both Democratic and Republican officials. And Trump’s efforts to bully him into doing so constitute a violation of federal law. Yet, in his desperation and ignorance, he keeps admitting his malfeasance in public. And worse, he’s acting out in conspicuously unlawful ways.

RELATED: Trump is Covertly Recruiting More Violent Insurrectionists With Promises of Future Pardons

Trump better be careful. The House Select Committee investing the January 6th insurrection is uncovering abundant evidence of his crimes. And Attorney General Merrick Garland recently said that he and the Justice Department prosecutors are watching the hearings. Trump’s past knack for evading accountability may finally be running out of steam.

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Trump Celebrates (and Lies About) CNN+ Shutting Down While Ignoring His TRUTH Social Fiasco

Thursday morning the new management team at Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), the newly merged combination of WarnerMedia and Discovery Networks, announced that CNN’s streaming channel, CNN+, will be shutting down at the end of April. It was startling news about the new service that was only launched three weeks ago.

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Donald Trump, CNN

According to CNN’s own reporting, the decision to end the venture was due to WBD’s incoming CEO David Zaslav’s plan to house all of the company’s brands under one streaming service. Zaslav said that…

“In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings […] We have very exciting opportunities ahead in the streaming space and CNN, one of the world’s premier reputational assets, will play an important role there.”

While the strategic logic of that position is apparent, it cannot be understated how sloppily this matter was executed. The new CEO of CNN, Chris Licht, conceded that it was a “uniquely shitty situation.” Elaborating, he said that CNN+ had an “incredibly successful launch” but that it was “simply incompatible with the newly merged company’s plans.” Despite the turmoil, there are expectations that much of the new programming will still be part of whatever eventually emerges.

To no one’s surprise, Donald Trump weighed in on this news with his customary noxious bluster. He posted a tweet (via his Twitter ban defying spokes-shill) that completely distorted the facts and demonstrated his distinctive brand of flagrant dishonesty. Trump ranted…

“Congratulations to CNN+ on their decision to immediately FOLD for a lack of ratings, or viewers in any way, shape, or form. It was like an empty desert out there despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars and the hiring of low-rated Chris Wallace, a man who tried so hard to be his father, Mike, but lacked the talent and whatever else is necessary to be a star. In any event, it’s just one more piece of CNN and Fake News that we don’t have to bother with anymore!”

Trump’s first lie in that outburst is that CNN+ folded “for a lack of ratings.” And the way we know that’s true is because there are no ratings for streaming apps. Trump is, once again, just making stuff up. The truth is that CNN+ signed up more than 100,000 viewers in three short weeks, well within their projections. And the service will undoubtedly relaunch when WBD finalizes the unified format for its streaming programming.

If Trump is really interested in identifying “an empty desert” in the media world, all he has to do is check in with his own parched and barren “TRUTH Social” Twitter clone. To date it has failed spectacularly. It cannot attract users. Even the users who have already signed up can’t log on. Trump himself doesn’t use the site.

RELATED: Trump’s PRAVDA, er, TRUTH Social Twitter Clone Flops as it Misses Yet Another Launch Date

Trump is said to be furious that his attempt at revenge against Twitter for banning him has cratered so badly. The Daily Beast reports that Trump has been overheard on the phone “swearing gratuitously” and asking “What the f*ck is going on?” with TRUTH Social.

That, however, is a question Trump should already know the answer to, considering that he has a notorious record for catastrophic business failures that is unparalleled in modern times. His numerous, and narcissistically self-branded projects – from casinos to airlines to games to steaks to vodka – all ended in humiliation and ruin. Even his prized real estate ventures have proven to be duds.

The man Trump put at the helm of TRUTH(less) Anti(Social), Devin Nunes has been making desperate trips to Fox News where he could lie unchallenged about the site’s “success.” But anyone foolish enough to invest in the venture has likely lost a bundle. The site keeps missing launch dates, and it is currently being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for “irregularities.”

One fund manager is predicting that the stock serving as the investment vehicle for TRUTH Social will fall to $10.00 and will fail to complete its merger with Trump’s company. It has already declined 67% from it’s high at the beginning of March.

RELATED: Investors (aka Suckers) in Trump’s TRUTH Social Scam Lost 37% 67% in Just the Past Two Six Weeks

The mess that WBD has made of the CNN+ launch may be costly and embarrassing, but it is temporary and the parent corporation has deep pockets. It will recover and offer its media products in a new and profitable form. But Trump’s ventures are permanently hobbled by his incompetence and inability to manage a successful business of any kind. The only thing he’s any good at is whining and flinging impotent insults as his enemies. Which is all he’s doing here.

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.

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CNN: The Colbert News Network? ‘Late Show’ Exec Producer, Chris Licht, Hired to Helm CNN

CNN recently announced that its CEO, Jeff Zucker, had resigned due to his not having disclosed a personal relationship with one of the network’s executives. He was leaving soon anyway in the wake of the pending merger between CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, and Discovery Networks. But Trump got a cheap thrill from the news of Zucker’s departure and released a typically infantile statement calling him “a world-class sleazebag” and offering “congratulations to all!”

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Stephen Colbert & Trump Baby

However, describing Zucker as a “sleazebag” is just another example of projection by Trump, who is best known for being a twice impeached, thrice married, pussy grabbing, porn star boinking, charity scamming, business bankrupting, insurrection inciting, pathologically lying, racist, and Putin loving traitor.

Trump may have been excited by the news of Zucker stepping aside, but he’s going to be somewhat less enthused when he finds out who is replacing him. According to CNN

“Chris Licht, the producer who created ‘Morning Joe,’ revamped ‘CBS This Morning’ and revitalized ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ has been selected to run CNN once Discovery merges with WarnerMedia this spring, according to three sources with knowledge of the plan.”

That’s right. Licht, who is currently the executive producer and showrunner of “The Late Show,” will soon be running CNN. Now, some people may think that Stephen Colbert’s producer is an odd choice to run a news network. However, prior to joining Colbert’s program Licht had worked in television news for more than twenty years. His experience in journalism was evident as Colbert’s producer. There is plenty of politics and other news incorporated into the show, both in its comedy bits and its guest bookings. CNN’s announcement included Licht’s impressive media resume:

“Licht’s journalism roots are in local news. He worked at KNBC, the powerhouse NBC affiliate in Los Angeles, during the O.J. Simpson trial. He later worked for NBC’s affiliate in San Francisco. In 2005 he joined MSNBC as the executive producer for MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country,” hosted by Joe Scarborough. Then he built a morning show around Scarborough and colleagues, occasionally even appearing on-air from the control room. In 2011 Licht leapt to CBS and engineered “CBS This Morning,” a brand new production of CBS News. He moved to “The Late Show” in 2016 and has worked closely with Colbert ever since.”

The selection of Licht is something of a relief. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who will run the merged Warner and Discovery combo, is considered to be more conservative, and there was speculation that he would steer CNN to the right. But the selection of Licht is a pretty good sign that that isn’t the case.

Even more fun is the thought of how Licht’s appointment will impact Trump and the media hating GOP. Imagine the horror that will envelop Trump when he gets wind of this. There is something eerily timely about a producer of a comedy program becoming the head of a news network that will be covering a former comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is the head of state in Ukraine. Then again, what could be more appropriate than a comedy professional covering a joke like Donald Trump?

Just for fun, here is a clip of Colbert appearing as a guest on a Russian talk show in 2017:

UPDATE: On Monday night Stephen Colbert paid tribute to his soon to be former Executive Producer in a touching and hilarious segment. He even used the same line I did about CNN becoming “Colbert News Network.” Maybe that joke was ripe for the taking, but I’m still taking credit for it. ?

NOTE: Twitter suspended the News Corpse account after 11 years without giving a reason. So if anyone wants to tweet articles from my website, please feel free to do so often and repeatedly.

Be sure to visit and follow News Corpse
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And check out my books on Amazon:

Fox Nation vs. Reality:
The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.

Thanks so much for your support.