Warner Bros. CEO’s $1,600 Wine Olive Branch to Ex-CNN Anchor

Warner Bros. CEO's $1,600 Wine Olive Branch to Ex-CNN Anchor

In a surprising turn of events, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO, David Zaslav, reportedly extended an olive branch to former CNN anchor Don Lemon by gifting him a $1,600 bottle of 2017 Opus One Cabernet blend. The gesture took place during a chance encounter at a Manhattan steakhouse where Lemon was dining with his husband, Tim Malone. Zaslav, along with his wife and other notable guests, was coincidentally present at the same restaurant.

The $1,600 wine gift, as reported by Puck News, seemed to strike a chord with Lemon, who had faced a tumultuous exit from CNN due to various controversial incidents that alienated both viewers and colleagues. Lemon was notably let go from the network last year following a series of on-air mishaps and behind-the-scenes conflicts.

The meeting between Zaslav and Lemon seemed to thaw their previous interactions, which had been limited to brief and neutral exchanges at locations like Barney Greengrass. Lemon, who had a separation agreement with CNN amounting to $24.5 million, was reportedly moved by Zaslav’s goodwill gesture and even felt compelled to approach Zaslav’s table for a friendly chat.

This interaction sheds light on Lemon’s tumultuous tenure at CNN, where his behavior and controversial statements had often landed him in hot water. From public disagreements with co-hosts to outbursts behind the scenes, Lemon’s time at CNN was filled with ups and downs. Notably, his statement about the comparative interest levels in men’s and women’s soccer had sparked uproar among viewers and colleagues alike.

Following his departure from CNN, Lemon faced further criticisms for his interactions with guests on his show. A tense interview with a GOP presidential candidate and a subsequent suspension due to off-color remarks about another political figure further tainted his reputation in the media industry.

Despite the setbacks in his career, Lemon has resurfaced with a new show, hinting at a potential comeback. On the other hand, Zaslav’s financial standing remains strong, with an impressive compensation package from Warner Bros. Discovery. However, recent stock market fluctuations following NBCUniversal’s interest in NBA broadcast rights have put pressure on Warner Bros. Discovery’s financial outlook.

The possibility of losing NBA broadcast rights, a long-standing asset for Warner Bros. Discovery, could pose challenges for the company’s future negotiations with cable and streaming platforms. As Zaslav navigates cost-cutting measures and market uncertainties, his recent gesture towards Lemon may symbolize a step towards reconciliation amid evolving dynamics in the media landscape. The $1,600 wine bottle serves as not only a peace offering but also a reflection of the complex relationships and power dynamics at play within the media industry.


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