CNN is officially cut off: Network scales back the booze on New Year’s Eve broadcast

Two men smiling in winter coats and gloves in Times Square, New York
Andy Cohen, left, and Anderson Cooper anchor CNN’s 2017 New Year’s Eve coverage from Times Square.
(Taylor Hill / FilmMagic)

The new boss of CNN has made a sobering announcement regarding the network’s forthcoming New Year’s Eve coverage.

According to Variety, CNN chairman and alleged party pooper Chris Licht informed employees during a town-hall meeting on Tuesday that the company intends to scale back the alcohol-induced chaos that has become a hallmark of its on-air festivities. Licht told staffers that drinking on camera undermines CNN’s credibility and “respectability,” Variety reported.

The network’s new drinking policy likely won’t have too much of an effect on its prime-time New Year’s Eve special hosted by longtime pals Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen — who are known for getting tipsy during the countdown to midnight and will still be allowed to imbibe behind the scenes (at least), according to Variety. However, life of the party Don Lemon — famous for entertaining audiences with his antics while co-anchoring CNN’s post-midnight coverage — might be required to dial it down a notch.


Andy Cohen made disparaging remarks about outgoing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ryan Seacrest and ABC while co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve special.

Jan. 4, 2022

In the past, Lemon has repeatedly gone viral on social media for his various New Year’s Eve shenanigans — from getting his ear pierced under the influence in 2016 to telling anyone who doesn’t want him to share his “point of view on television” to “kiss my behind” 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 for round two.

Earlier this year, a spokesperson for CNN confirmed to The Times that Cohen would return to Times Square to ring in 2023 after making negative comments about host Ryan Seacrest’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” and causing some to speculate that the Bravo producer had been over-served. (“I mean, with all due [respect], if you’ve been watching ABC tonight, you’ve seen nothing,” Cohen said on air. “I’m sorry.”)

“The only thing that I regret saying ... is that I slammed the ABC broadcast,” 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 just kept talking, and I shouldn’t have.”

From ‘New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen’ to ‘Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party,’ you have plenty of viewing options for Friday night.

Dec. 30, 2021