There's been talk for a while that CNN might be unhappy with Larry King, the long-time host of late-night talk show Larry King Live. But is the network already setting up his replacement? Rumors have been floating through the media world that CNN could replace him with Piers Morgan, the British journalist and a judge on the reality show America's Got Talent. Here's the word on the street.
- 'On The Verge' of Taking £5.5M Offer The U.K. Telegraph's Anita Singh is first to the story, saying Morgan has been offered £5.5 million. "The Britain's Got Talent judge and former newspaper editor is on the verge of signing a four-year contract to take over King's primetime show in the autumn. He has built a profile in the US as a judge on America's Got Talent, which is made by rival network NBC. CNN executives were also impressed by his British chat show, Piers Morgan's Life Stories, in which he interviewed Gordon Brown. ... Morgan is expected to quit his role on Britain's Got Talent and base himself permanently in the US."
- Behind the Deal The New York Post's Page Six writes, "Ted Turner must be flinging his remote at the wall in despair. CNN, the cable network he founded, is poised to turn its prime-time schedule over to two disgraced public figures, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer and former British tabloid editor Piers Morgan, in its desperate bid to restore lost ratings. ... Morgan wants a four-year deal to take over King's show in the fall. But CNN wants to keep King happy until it chooses a successor."
- 'Farcical' New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman calls Morgan "a man who was fired from the top spot at London's Daily Mirror for running fake pictures of British soldiers torturing Iraqis, this poses the possibility of a real credibility gap in the network's prime-time hours. ... Morgan judges a show where people put their entire bodies through a badminton racket while wearing neon American-flag costumes. But, call us crazy, something about them hosting serious news shows just seems, well, farcical."
- Would Hasten CNN's Downward Slide Gawker's Adrien Chen profiles Morgan. "Piers Morgan is a singularly British product of the reality television-tabloid complex. He was an editor of super-sleazy tabloid The Daily Mirror for almost a decade before quitting being fired and focusing on his television career. ... As you can see, he is very different from Larry King. Where Larry King comes from boring journalism, Piers Morgan comes from the world of entertainment—or entertainment masquerading as journalism. ... Piers Morgan would be a good move for CNN if it wants to increase ratings and doesn't mind furthering its transformation into an insipid celebrity-fueled social networking machine which also happens to be good at breaking news."