But Lemon has received the backing of the cable giant’s chairman and chief executive officer, we’re told.
“Don has been told he’s safe,” a source told RadarOnline.com.
“But, like many, he has been left under no illusions that he cannot use the airwaves of CNN to spout opinion and be a bugle of the liberal set. Don was reminded CNN is a bipartisan news network like no other.
“The message was delivered loud and clear: if he wants to do liberal opinion, he should try and get a job at MSNBC.”
Last week, Lemon flip-flopped on the Licht regime at CNN when he was asked on Comedy Central's Hell Of A Week by host Charlamagne Tha God whether he’d been told to dial it down.
“So, let me just say I don't think that's exactly what Chris is saying,” Lemon said.
“I think that's a narrative that's been placed in the media. I think what Chris wants to do is to be able to have Republicans and Democrats and whatever your political stance is on CNN so that you can be accountable and that you can answer for it.”
The interview was said to have “irked” Licht who used it to quietly caution Lemon that he “didn’t want his on-air talent discussing internal matters outside of CNN headquarters,” the source said.
The axe fell on Stelter and Reliable Sources less than a week after he also axed Toobin, the network’s longtime legal analyst who was infamously caught masturbating in front of colleagues.
“CNN will end its Reliable Sources program on Sunday, August 21. As a result Brian Stelter will leave the company. We appreciate his contributions to the network and wish him well as he embarks on new endeavors," a CNN spokesperson said in a statement.