Sniffling and choking back tears, CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday delivered an emotional farewell as he signed off on his final primetime show, “Don Lemon Tonight,” before moving to anchor the network’s morning show on Monday.
“I was not always perfect, because no one is perfect,” Lemon said after playing a montage of highlights from his eight-year run on primetime. “There are immense pressures that come with this job and in particular this time slot at 10 o’clock, when people are going to bed. So sometimes all I could do — I am going to be honest with you — is just smile and just get to the commercial break sometimes.”
Lemon, who joined the network in 2006 and gained his primetime show in 2014, acknowledged the pressures of his gig. “Sometimes it was exhausting because some of the things that we discuss here are so personal and so consuming, all-consuming,” he said. “So I hope I made you proud. And I thank you for tuning in all these years. And I hope that you are going to join me in the morning.”
After delivering a simple “good night,” Lemon said, “I’m going to leave and I am going to go upstairs.” He then stood up from his desk and walked away, waving and delivering a high-pitched, “Bye.” As the show’s credits rolled, he could then be seen walking up a staircase at the back of the set, sniffling and sighing as his shoes clomped on the metal stairs.
On Monday, Lemon will join Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins to co-anchor CNN’s morning show. Alisyn Camerota and Laura Coates will co-anchor Lemon’s primetime slot, from 10 p.m. to midnight ET. In addition, Jake Tapper will take over the 9 p.m. time slot that has seen a rotating crew of hosts since Chris Cuomo’s firing last December.