Morgan to take King’s CNN slot
EW YORK – British tabloid veteran Piers Morgan, hired by CNN to start as Larry King’s replacement as a prime-time interviewer in January, promised that he “came here to win”.
CNN nailed down the final piece of its prime-time makeover, after months where it was clear the America’s Got Talent panellist was its top choice. King, who announced in June he was leaving Larry King Live, will have his final show on December 16.
Negotiations dragged while CNN worked out a deal that allows Morgan to continue on America’s Got Talent and his British talk show Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, on Britain’s ITV.
“I didn’t come here to lose,” he said. “I have always spent my life in ferocious ratings or circulation wars. It’s what gets me going in the morning, and I want to combine brilliant interviews with great ratings.”
That would be fine with CNN; King was once cable TV news’ top gun but now runs third in his 9 p.m. Eastern time slot. Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity has averaged 2.27 million viewers this year at that hour, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has 931 000 viewers and King averages 702 000, according to the Nielsen Co.
Another prime-time CNN show with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker is starting on October 4. CNN has struggled in prime-time with news viewers more interested in opinionated shows on Fox and MSNBC.
Morgan said following King was “like replacing Frank Sinatra at the Sands”. He said he considered it the biggest interviewer job in the world, and one that he has long had his eye on. (AP)