Don Lemon To Walk From CNN With $24.5M Severance

According to a report on Monday, former prime-time CNN host Don Lemon reportedly negotiated a $24.5 million severance deal with the corporate mainstream news channel. He negotiated the settlement with the Atlanta-based company almost a year after it fired him.

The Wrap first reported the settlement between Lemon and CNN on Monday, in an amount that is roughly the same as what CNN would have paid Lemon had the company decided to keep him on as a daily news show anchor for CNN’s cable television programming for the remainder of his contract, three-and-a-half years from the time CNN fired him.

Lemon, a popular fixture on the CNN roster for years, did not do well soon after moving from his popular primetime show to host in the mornings alongside female hosts Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow. Lemon offended his female colleagues when he made a remark about former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) age.

Lemon said that the Republican presidential candidate was past her prime at the age of 51, stating: “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry.” He clarified that he did mean all women at that age, “When a woman is considered to be in her prime — in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”

CNN terminated his employment after the show.

“It is clear that there are some larger issues at play,” Lemon wrote on social media after the firing, though it is unclear what larger issue he was referring to. He said he was stunned by the news of his firing and disappointed that he learned from his agent, “I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”

“CNN, the strategy and their content and the direction they wanted to go in, I was not a part of that,” Lemon told journalist Kara Swisher on her podcast — Pivot.

“They did not want me to be a part of that, and I think that has, from what has played out publicly as it relates to CNN, as it relates to management, and what they’re doing now, I think that it’s obvious that they didn’t want me to be a part of that,” Lemon said.