The host of ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published online Tuesday that reports of CNN’s correspondents and anchors no longer imbibing during New Year’s Eve programming is a good decision. On CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live that aired Dec. 31, 2021, co-host Andy Cohen made a crack to Anderson Cooper about Seacrest’s show.
“I don’t advocate drinking when one is on the air,” Seacrest said. “I don’t know how that started as a tradition, but it’s probably a good idea [to scale back], CNN. There’s some pretty respectable people — or at least one, right? I think there’s a serious journalist and then a friend of mine who has a lot of fun, but it’s probably a good idea. Although the viewers probably wish they would drink more.”
Seacrest went on to reference last year’s much-debated moment, in which Cohen, who had been drinking alcohol with Cooper on the air throughout the show, noticed that the Journey was performing on ABC in the band’s current lineup that no longer includes former frontman Steve Perry. Cohen referred to the show’s guests as “Ryan Seacrest group of losers” and said that anyone watching ABC that night had “seen nothing.”
The American Idol host told the outlet, “But I think they had something to say about my show at one point, which was I’m sure from the alcohol because I don’t think they would say what they said about our performers if they weren’t drinking. But, you know, I think our show’s a bigger, broader show, and we will not drink until 1:05 in the morning. Although I might send them some Casa Dragones tequila just to tempt them while they’re on the air.”
Shortly after New Year’s Eve, Cohen said on his Radio Andy broadcast that he regretted his negative comments about the ABC show because he likes Seacrest. Cohen reiterated the sentiment during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter: “It was an offhanded comment about nothing that really had to do with him. It was about Journey. I was really going after the current iteration of Journey. Because I’m a big Steve Perry fan.”
Variety reported last month that Chris Licht, who was named CNN chairman and CEO in February, informed his staff of the channel’s revised approach to New Year’s Eve programming. Cohen and Cooper reportedly will still be free to consume alcohol during their show, but other correspondents and anchors will not.