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CNN President Jeff Zucker has decided to bring an end to Piers Morgan’s low-rated primetime show, network sources told POLITICO on Sunday. “Piers Morgan Live” could end as early as next month, though Morgan may stay with the network in another role.
Morgan, a former British tabloid editor, replaced Larry King in the 9 p.m. hour three years ago, prior to Zucker’s tenure as president. His show earned consistently low ratings, registering as few as 50,000 viewers in the 25-to-54 year-old demographic earlier this week.
“CNN confirms that Piers Morgan Live is ending,” Allison Gollust, head of CNN communications, told POLITICO on Sunday after an earlier version of this post was published. “The date of the final program is still to be determined.”
Earlier on Sunday, Morgan told The New York Times that the show had “run its course” and that he and Zucker “have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.” Sources who spoke to POLITICO said the decision to end the show was Zucker’s.
Zucker took the helm at CNN at the beginning of 2013 and has since brought incremental change to the network, including revitalized news programs and a new emphasis on films and documentary shows. Primetime remains the one area where Zucker has yet to impliment substantive change, a new 10 p.m. roundtable program with Anderson Cooper notwithstanding.
It’ll be interesting to see what CNN does with that slot after Morgan departs the network.
As to Morgan himself, while I certainly don’t advocate someone losing their jobs, Morgan has been a frequent mocker of the ratings of other TV shows in spite of the fact that his were consistently low. To say the guy’s lack of self awareness was strong would be the understatement of the week. I suspect Morgan was often a frequent embarrassment for the network, as he would have guests on frequently to talk about gun rights (his pet issue) and the Constitution and they usually ended up pretty much destroying his arguments with ease.
I look for Morgan to be offered a spot on MSNBC somewhere, somehow in the near future – considering they’ve all but declared themselves the “liberal” alternative to Fox News (which, in turn, hasn’t helped their ratings one iota). Something tells me the network would be perfect for Morgan and his ultra left wing views on gun rights and that pesky little thing called the Constitution.
As they say, stay tuned.