×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Piers Morgan Exits CNN After Turning Down 2-Year Deal

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.

 

 

More TV

  • Westworld Season 3 Trailer

    'Westworld' Season 3 Trailer Focuses on New Cast Member Aaron Paul

    Ahead of the final episode of “Game of Thrones,” HBO released the first trailer for the new season of another flagship show: “Westworld.” The first look at the third season of the sci-fi show puts the focus on new series regular Aaron Paul, best known for his run on “Breaking Bad.” The trailer doesn’t reveal [...]

  • Adam Lambert Libertine show, Front Row,

    Adam Lambert Does Double Performing Duty on 'Idol' as New Winner is Crowned

    A new “American Idol” winner was crowned Sunday night, but not before Adam Lambert returned to the stage for the season finale for a pair of performances that included his new single and a duet with eliminated contestant Dimitrius Graham Sunday. The show concluded with Louisiana teen Laine Hardy showered in confetti as he was [...]

  • Beyonce Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Worried Beyonce Would Hate Daenerys After 'Game of Thrones'' Final Season

    After eight seasons as the Mother of Dragons, “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke has a lot of celebrity fans. But the most impressive? Probably Queen Bey. In a New Yorker interview posted after Sunday night’s series finale, Clarke revealed that she met Beyonce at an Oscars after-party hosted by the musician and her husband, [...]

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    Why the 'Game of Thrones' Finale Couldn't Have Satisfied Everyone

    The “Game of Thrones” finale may have achieved a strange feat: Aiming for fan service while being constrained, by its very nature, to the reality that it would end up pleasing only very few. The episode was larded with character touches designed for devotees — from a title, at long last, for fan favorite Bronn, [...]

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    'Game of Thrones': Celebrity Fans Have Mixed Reaction to Series Finale

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the series finale of “Game of Thrones,” titled “The Iron Throne.”  Whether you loved it or hated it, the series finale of “Game of Thrones” was one for the history books. After the final episode aired Sunday night, fans across the globe took to [...]

  • ‘Game of Thrones’: 8 Shocking Moments

    ‘Game of Thrones’: 8 Shocking Moments From the Finale

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the finale of “Game of Thrones.” Well, that’s it. After the “Game of Thrones” finale, many of us will likely emulate Jon Snow and just retire North of the Wall. It was billed as one of the biggest events in TV history, and showrunners [...]

  • Front row: CBS THIS MORNING co-hosts

    CBS Hurls New Anchor Team Into TV's Morning-News Wars

    News Team: Assemble. CBS News plans to hurl a new anchor squad into TV’s morning-news wars Monday when a different trio – Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil –  takes the helm at “CBS This Morning.” The A.M. effort that has won critical plaudits by focusing on harder news topics, like international affairs and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content