While some CNN anchors have a history of getting drunk during their New Year’s Eve hosting duties, the network is reportedly cracking down on the festivities for its upcoming 2023 broadcast.
Viewers who plan to watch Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon get drunk Saturday in the hours leading up to midnight may be surprised to learn the program will be a stone-cold sober television event. New CNN boss Chris Licht is at the helm of this New Year’s Eve special, and he has implemented a rule specifying Cooper, Lemon and Cohen cannot drink on-air, The Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed CNN source.
Licht allegedly warned his employees about the changes during a meeting in November. “I’m not looking for a bunch of my respectful talent to be out there all night doing shots,” he said, according to WaPo. “That will be different. I don’t think that builds credibility.” (RELATED: ‘So, I’m An Alcoholic’: Famous Actor-Comedian Admits To Addiction)
The show has earned itself a boozy reputation over the years, with a laundry list of alcohol-fueled antics unfolding on-air during CNN’s New Year’s Eve specials. The 2020 special included Cohen taking a shot before going on a rant about Bill de Blasio’s job performance as mayor in a looser-than-usual broadcast.
Lemon appeared tipsy in 2017 when he got his ear pierced during the live broadcast, and Cooper screamed, “It’s like burning your lungs!” after he took a shot of tequila while ringing in 2019.
Former CNN anchor Carol Costello reportedly shares Licht’s views and believes new anchors should remain respected in their roles.
“I never liked the idea of anchors getting tipsy on air,” she said, according to WaPo. “Maybe I’m old school, but I don’t want to see the person informing me about civilian deaths in Ukraine and why they’re happening sloshed.”