Thursday, June 13, 2024

CNN Replaces Don Lemon with New Duo for New’s Year’s Eve Broadcast

Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin - screenshot
Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin – screenshot

*Don Lemon’s departure from CNN will not stand in the way of the news network welcoming 2024 with a new duo.

Variety reports Sara Sidner and Cari Champion will be on deck for CNN’s annual coverage of New Year’s Eve celebrations. The pair will occupy Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas for their part of the show, which will start at 12:30 am ET, ahead of celebrations in the Central Time Zone. The location is noted for being where Lemon took part in the yearly broadcast.

Sidner and Champion’s inclusion in the New Year’s Eve program in place of Lemon comes at an interesting time individually for the pair. Sidner’s stock at CNN has risen over the past year, due to anchoring the channel’s mid-morning show “News Central.” Champion, a former SportsCenter anchor for ESPN, is noted for her work with Vice and Amazon Prime Video since leaving the sports media giant in 2020. Although Champion had been slated to do a show with writer Jemele Hill for CNN+, it never aired broadly on the now-shuttered channel.

CNN’s New Year’s Eve program with Sidner and Champion will mark a new chapter for the network, which memorably featured Lemon among those covering the occasion. Earlier this year, Lemon and CNN parted ways after the channel’s management attempted to move him from his prominent primetime show to its morning program.

Sara Sidner - GettyImages
Sara Sidner – GettyImages

Main coverage for the New Year’s Eve broadcast will not change as Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen return as hosts, Variety mentioned. Performers will include Enrique Iglesias, Maroon 5, Jonas Brothers, Flo Rida, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, and Rod Stewart. Legendary R&B singer Patti Labelle, “Hawkeye” star Jeremy Renner and “Saturday Night Live” fixture Bowen Yang will be on hand for live interviews, along with Neil Patrick Harris and Matt Rogers.

Cari Champion

Whether alcohol plays a role in the broadcast remains to be seen. Since joining CNN’s year-end celebration in 2017, Cohen’s drinking on air has been a talking point among viewers. So much so that the channel, under former chief Chris Licht, issued an edict that drinking on camera would not be allowed.

As for the vibe of the New Year’s Eve program, it will be business as usual, with CNN correspondents Richard Quest, Stephanie Elam, Randi Kaye, Gary Tuchman and Boris Sanchez checking in with Cooper and Cohen from celebrations across the country.

Quuest will report from Times Square in New York, and Stephanie Elam will report from Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Kaye will be based in Key West, Florida, while Tuchman and his daughter Lindsay will report from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Sanchez will do his reporting in Miami, Florida.

CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve coverage will air on CNN and stream live on CNN Max on Dec. 31.

MORE NEWS ON EURWEB: Don Lemon Claims CNN Fired Him for Refusing to Interview ‘Liars and Bigots’ | Video

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