Sour Lemon: CNN bans on-air drinking for New Year’s Eve special


CNN wIn order to increase the station’s credibility, it breaks with a long-standing tradition and bans anchors from drinking alcohol during the station’s New Year’s Eve special.

Network executives announced the rule changes at a meeting in mid-November, telling employees they weren’t allowed to drink alcohol on live broadcasts, and hosts Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen were reportedly exempt from the rules. However, CNN’s president later returned to those comments, revealing that it was a “joke” and that he hoped he would “not drink at all on air.”

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The ban followed years of somewhat violent behavior by apparently intoxicated CNN hosts, including the instance of Don Lemon getting his ears pierced on live television after the ball rained down at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Another year, the CNN host took a rant about being a “grown** man” who could “share my point of view on TV and surprise people.” I vomited.

One network official told Tani that Lemmon was “not happy” about the rule change because he would likely be assigned to cover New Year’s Eve in New Orleans.

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Cohen publicly reacted shortly after the newly implemented drinking ban was announced, telling viewers in November, “I’m going to party harder than ever on New Year’s Eve!”

The upcoming New Year’s Eve broadcast will be CNN’s first since former president Jeff Zucker resigned in February for not acknowledging a romantic relationship with another senior executive. Licht said he wanted to use the holiday broadcast to cast CNN as a more serious and credible network.

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