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Piers

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Months after word first surfaced that CNN was looking to hire “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan to headline a new yakker, the news cabler finally admitted to such a deal Wednesday.

One of the worst-kept secrets in TV – the other being Fox’s new “American Idol” judges – has come true: Morgan will indeed replace Larry King’s 9 p.m. slot on CNN starting in January. King previously announced plans to step down from his long-running show by the end of this year.

Morgan’s as-yet-unnamed interview program has been the subject of a series of items in gossip pages for months now, with “Got Talent” exec producer Simon Cowell even telling London tabloids that he had a hand in making the deal work. Morgan will reportedly earn upwards of $5 million a year for the next three years in the job.

Morgan recently signed a three-year extension to remain a judge on “America’s Got Talent.” The new arrangement with the Peacock gave Morgan the flexibility to host a show for CNN – but “Got Talent” remains in first position, which means the cable news yakker will have to be worked around his “Got Talent” schedule.

“Piers has made his name posing tough questions to public figures, holding them accountable for their words and deeds,” said CNN US prexy Jonathan Klein. “He is able to look at all aspects of the news with style and humor with an occasional good laugh in the process.”

Read more here.

MORE PIERS:

Chat show puzzle pieces in play (8/14/10)

Green light for Piers Morgan? (7/14/10)

CNN circles King’s heir apparent (7/14/10)

Larry King’s heir apparent (7/1/10)

CNN’s King to sign off (6/29/10)

Turmoil at news network? (6/18/10)

Morgan to replace Larry King? (6/14/10)