Piers Morgan Exits CNN After Turning Down 2-Year Deal

Piers Morgan Fleet Street Starz
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Piers Morgan, the CNN primetime host whose efforts to provide the network with a new type of celebrity-interview show met with ratings headwinds, has officially left the cable news channel after declining a new two-year deal that would have made him the host of  a sporadic interview series.

“I was offered a new 2-year deal by CNN boss Jeff Zucker to host 40 big interview ‘specials,'” Morgan said via Twitter. “But after considerable thought, I decided not to accept it – and to try pastures new.”

Morgan began anchoring the network’s 9 p.m. slot in January 2011, replacing the durable “Larry King Live” with a celebrity-interview show that did not always hit the target with CNN viewers.  The program, in which Morgan could be seen breaking away from conversations with perplexed guests like Gregg Allman to ask if they had inadvertently given him a scoop in their responses, proved to be fodder for satire on “Saturday Night Live.” Morgan also used the program to rally against the National Rifle Assn.

“I knew this kind of outburst wouldn’t endear me to gun-loving Americans, but I’d do it all over again,” he tweeted on Tuesday, linking to a debate on gun control following the Newton, Conn., elementary shooting.

In 2013 his show, “Piers Morgan Live,” basically stayed flat with 2012 performance. Morgan’s program notched a 1% gain in total viewers, to 597,000 compared with 590,000 a year earlier, and a 2% hike in the 25-to-54 demo, to 173,000 from 170,000. In February CNN announced it would yank the show off the air and replaced it in March largely with some of its documentary series or hour-long looks at breaking news.

Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper, who helped form the backbone of CNN’s primetime lineup with Morgan, remain on the air in the  CNN’s 7 and 8 p.m. hours, respectively.

An agent for Morgan, John Ferriter of Octagon Entertainment Management, could not be reached for immediate comment on what next steps the anchor might be considering. Morgan was editor of Britain’s News of the World and Daily Mirror and also a judge on  NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

His departure comes at a time of major transition for CNN under Jeff Zucker. The all-news cabler is also bracing for staff layoffs in the coming weeks as part of a larger cost-cutting initiative across Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting unit.



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  1. Jay says:

    now its time to boot that other scandal-plagued UK journalist: Mark Burnett, editor at NY Times. both he and Morgan are up to their stiff British collars in scandalous journalism practicies, exploitation and hacking.
    a few years ago a British team was brought in to turn around the Nat’l Enquirer. they were given the boot shortly thereafter

  2. Becky says:

    He and Christine Amanpour both seemed so anti-American I’m glad she’s off of her ABC Sunday morning show and Piers from CNN.

  3. Bout the 2-year deal with CNN that he nixed, he says, “But after considerable thought, I decided not to accept it – and to try pastures new.”

    He should stay out of those pastures. His main problem is that he has regurgitated just too much of what he found in those.

  4. Miasmo M. Miasmo says:

    Who cares about that talentless POS. Good-bye and good riddance. Go back to England and pollute their airways.

  5. Alex says:

    550 middle class workers are getting the boot at CNN and this awfull human turns down 2 years work…what a worm.

  6. aldean says:

    I respect Piers for standing up against the gun industry.
    Sorry he’s gone. Al Jeezera has evolved into a terrific news channel, while
    CNN only repeats one story all day long.
    It would be great to see Piers cross over.

  7. srvwp2013 says:

    Cheers to Piers. He is a contaminant to himself, but anyone who associates with Jeff Zucker in any form, fashion, way or manner becomes seriously toxic.

  8. Nanny Mo says:

    Piers just wasn’t any good at interviewing. Lecturing, screaming at people he could do, but I never learned anything watching him, so I stopped.

  9. Gerry Berry says:

    Piers was a real bore and a terrible interviewer… painful to watch him sputter and shriek… which had nothing to do with his opinion on guns….just complete lack of skills, composure and finesse.

  10. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    Good riddens,, his best interview was Robert Blake! His tabloid smerky mentality will land him a reality show or chat show or something in between. I hated his persona.. he never could mold and identify with a USA audience. He needs to be structured to Network standards or most likely freelance to do his own thing.

  11. RAClements says:

    As long as you keep him in the US. We don’t want to odious toad back.

  12. Ma Mark says:

    CNN is as irrelevant as FOX NEWS. both are biased and self important. totally out of touch with America.

    • Mook says:

      Don’t forget the absolute worst of the worst, MSNBC.

      • jr240483 says:

        sorry but the political mess that is fox noise is far worse than msnbc.

        though i did liked morgan cause he did the show his way and not try to live up to his bosses standards which i can respect unlike nut jobs like hannity and laura ingram. whose life and limb is to make all the US conservative. sure msnbc is no better since their all liberals especially chris mathews who is as bad as hannity, but fox is even worse. its reasons why quacks like that farmer from nevada was on hannity cause he know he would give a fellow conservative the royal treatment.

  13. Aida O'Reilly says:

    Sorry Don’t bother with CNN
    Neither accurate nor honest about the News they give?
    Who owns CNN? Tell me who please
    Tell me

  14. PittsRu2 says:

    Good riddance to a pompous buffoon. Morgan is too much about himself as a celebrity and too little about any skill at interviewing someone with something to say. I hope he goes back across the pond and stays there. I enjoy many English things, but he is not one of hem.

  15. towelcigarette? says:

    From celebrity interviewer to village idiot. Anyone who believes he was offered but declined… a new “40 big interview specials” gig is a fool. Morgan is confused – no one wants to listen his liberal buffoonery and CNN booted him due to dismal ratings. Cash money he’ll pop back up on MSNBC or Al’s Jazeera.

  16. terryzxz says:

    I fought he did a really nice job and I’m very sorry to see him leave

  17. Contessa46 says:

    It’s CNN’s loss! And it’s becoming another Fox like news organization. Where they used to be fair and balanced and supply news that the networks did not they are now cut from the same mold. Too bad–lost another viewer. I now tune into PBS or BBC late at night where you get NEWS and not salacious nonsense.

  18. JSB says:

    Cannot believe CNN even OFFERED him another job, he was such an embarrassment the 1st time around – made Larry King look and sound like Oriana Fallaci. Send him back to Tabloid Heaven in his homeland, he is much more suited for that climate, while CNN is trying to regain some news credibility over here.

  19. Glenn C. says:

    Always admire someone who turns down an offer for the sake of their own sanity, life, other ambitions. Good for him. Wish him luck.

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