CNN’s new boss has made a sobering announcement about the network’s upcoming New Year’s Eve coverage.
According to Variety, CNN chairman and alleged party pooch Chris Licht informed employees at a town hall meeting Tuesday that the company intends to curb the alcohol-induced chaos that has become a hallmark of its on-air festivities. Licht told staff that drinking on camera undermines CNN’s credibility and “respectability,” Variety reported.
The network’s new liquor policy probably won’t have too much of an effect on its prime-time New Year’s Eve special hosted by longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen — who are known for getting tipsy during the countdown to midnight and will continue to get allowed to take in (at least) behind the scenes, according to Variety. However, the life of the party Don Lemon — famous for entertaining the public with his antics while co-anchoring CNN’s post-midnight coverage — may need to kick it up a notch.
In the past, Lemon has repeatedly gone viral on social media for his various New Year’s Eve pranks — from getting his ear pierced while intoxicated in 2016 to telling anyone who doesn’t want him to share his “point of view on television” to “kiss my butt in 2021 (or the early hours of 2022, for those on the East Coast).
Last year, Cooper and Cohen headlined CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live” broadcast before Lemon, Alisyn Camerota and Dulcé Sloan took over in the second round.
Earlier this year, a CNN spokesperson confirmed to The Times that Cohen would return to Times Square to call in 2023 after making negative comments about host Ryan Seacrest’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” and leading some to speculate that the Bravo producer is over was served. (“I mean, with all the money owed [respect]”If you watched ABC tonight, you didn’t see anything,” Cohen said on the air. “My apologies.”)
“The only thing I regret saying … is that I made the ABC broadcast bad,” Cohen said on his radio show at the time.
“I really like Ryan Seacrest, and he’s a great guy, and I really regret saying that. And I was just stupid and drunk and feeling it. … I kept talking, and that had I shouldn’t.