Three years ago, CNN decided to give Larry King’s timeslot to newspaper editor and America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan. The opinionated Brit’s tenure was marked by some fascinating interviews and some aggressive social commentaries, but sadly, now it’s officially coming to an end. New CNN President Jeff Zucker hasn’t announced a final broadcast date, but it will come sooner rather than later.
According to The Mirror, Zucker and Morgan reportedly had a series of conversations in which they went back and forth about the program’s future and various possible directions. In the end, however, they either couldn’t come to an agreement or didn’t see eye-to-eye enough to continue on.
There are a lot of people who will argue Morgan ultimately failed because he wasn’t opinionated enough, because he wasn’t tough enough on his guests, but the host himself actually feels the opposite. He thinks he was too aggressive with his opinions, particularly those concerning his adopted country. Here’s what he told The New York Times…
“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it. That’s run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”
To this point, everyone involved has been very clear to point out that only the primetime show, Piers Morgan Live, has been given the axe. That leaves the door open for Morgan to hypothetically return in a different role at some point in the future. That could be as a special correspondent. That could be as a daytime host, or it could be as absolutely nothing. This wouldn’t be the first time network executives pretended like they would continue to use someone only to placate fans, while knowing full well the employee would never see the light of day again.
If nothing else, the ultimate failure of Piers Morgan Live is a great reminder of what a double-edged sword it can be to take over for a beloved personality. A timeslot and a built in audience are great, but they can often come with so many audience expectations that it’s hard to prevent the negative backlash.
We’ll keep you updated on any new Morgan developments as they become available. Until then, you can watch the host interview former President Bill Clinton below…