Don Lemon received $1,600 bottle of wine from ex-boss David Zaslav

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav reportedly sent fired CNN anchor Don Lemon a $1,600 bottle of wine as a peace offering while they both dined at a steakhouse in Manhattan.

Lemon, who was dumped by CNN last year after a string of high-profile on-air and behind-the-scenes incidents that alienated viewers and colleagues, received a bottle of 2017 Opus One Cabernet blend as he ate with husband Tim Malone at Porter House near Columbus Circle last month, according to Puck News.

Zaslav, CEO of CNN’s corporate parent, was at the same restaurant on a double date with his wife, Pam Zaslav, and billionaire private equity mogul David Rubenstein and his spouse, Caryn Zucker, Puck News reported.

Ex-CNN host Don Lemon was gifted a $1,600 bottle of wine from his ex-boss. WireImage
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav (seen left with Graydon Carter) sent Lemon the bottle of wine as a peace offering, according to a report. Getty Images for Air Mail/Warner Brothers Discovery
A bottle of 2017 Opus One costs $1,600.

Caryn Zucker is the ex-wife of Jeff Zucker, the former CNN president who resigned after it was revealed that he had been carrying on a long-term relationship with a top subordinate.

Lemon, who reportedly received $24.5 million in a separation agreement with CNN, was reportedly touched by Zaslav’s gesture — so much so that he stood up and approached their table for a chat, according to Puck News.

The two men had previously bumped into each other at Barney Greengrass, a famous Upper West Side Jewish deli. Zaslav and Lemon exchanged “bland pleasantries,” Puck News reported.

Last April, Lemon’s tenure at CNN ended after 17 years at the network during which he reportedly alienated colleagues and management with his antics and comments.

In December 2022, Lemon, a former prime time host who was demoted to co-anchor the weekday morning show with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, was rebuked by his co-hosts for saying that women’s soccer is less interesting than men’s soccer.

In February of last year, The Post reported that Lemon flew into a rage and screamed at Collins off the air and in front of colleague for interrupting him on the air.

Lemon was fired last year after a disastrous stint as co-anchor of CNN’s “This Morning” alongside Poppy Harlow (left) and Kaitlan Collins (right). CNN/Twitter

Collins was so shaken by the incident that she ran out of the studio, sources told The Post.

Days after the incident, Lemon caused another stir when he said on the air that Nikki Haley, the 51-year-old GOP presidential candidate, was “not in her prime.” The ensuing backlash prompted the network to suspend Lemon.

Lemon also reportedly ignored instructions from producers during a tense April interview with GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who said that African Americans won equal rights in the US with help from the National Rifle Association.

Days after the interview, Lemon was fired.

He has since resurfaced with his own show, which was originally slated to be streamed exclusively on X.

Zaslav earned $49.7 million last year as CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery. Getty Images

But Lemon’s exorbitant demands for a Tesla Cybertruck, millions of dollars upfront as well as the power to have final approval over X’s news content alienated executives at the social media company, who terminated talks after a contentious debut interview with X owner Elon Musk.

Zaslav could certainly afford to pick up the tab for expensive wine. Last year, he was paid $49.7 million as part of his compensation package from Warner Bros. Discovery — this despite the fact that the company’s stock hit an all-time low earlier this week.

The selloff of WBD stock was prompted by reports that NBCUniversal was looking to make an aggressive bid to win the broadcast rights for National Basketball Association games — a valuable television property that has had a home at WBD-owned Turner Sports for decades.

WBD stock bounced back on Thursday, surging by more than 3% as of 2 p.m. Eastern time. It was selling at around $7.90 a share.

The company stock hit an all-time low earlier this week. Getty Images

The stock has lost around 70% of its value since it began trading on Wall Street in April 2022 upon the completion of the merger between WarnerMedia, which was spun off by AT&T, and Discovery.

Zaslav, who has a mandate to cut costs at debt-ridden WBD, has previously said that his company doesn’t “have to have the NBA,” but Wall Street observers begged to differ.

NBCUniversal is prepared to offer an average of $2.5 billion a year for the rights to air NBA games, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Losing the NBA could make it much more difficult for WBD to charge cable and streaming distributors the carriage fees that it wants.

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