In the latest move by network president Jeff Zucker to right the CNN ship, a decision has been made to shelve the three year old interview program “Piers Morgan Live” effective next month. British journalist and talent show judge Piers Morgan replaced legendary radio personality and TV interviewer Larry King in 2011. The hosts of both shows were victims of the ratings slump that has plagued the Atlanta based network in recent years.
When appointed as successor to CNN veteran Larry King, Piers Morgan seemed to be a controversial choice. At the time it was thought that the network needed to make a bold move to stop the ratings hemorrhage. Morgan’s style and opinions were probably better suited towards CNN’s international audience. With tirades on the hot button issue of gun control, Morgan failed to connect with the majority of CNN’s viewers.
Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing… – Piers Morgan, New York Times interview
According to Deadline.com discussions regarding Morgan’s fate likely amped up after ratings results revealed last week that the 9pm program pulled in an estimated 50,000 viewers in a key demographic. The show claimed about 61,000 more viewers in that key demographic just the previous week. In both weeks the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi were aired on broadcast and cable television and isn’t believed to be the cause of the ratings drop.
On Sunday Morgan announced in an interview with The New York Times that he and CNN planned to part ways in March. Now the network will be on the hunt to fill the vacancy in its primetime schedule. Before arriving at CNN, Zucker worked with former Today anchor Katie Couric whose daytime talk show is ending soon. Could Couric be CNN’s solution? During her career at NBC, CBS and ABC daytime; Couric interviewed celebrities, politicos and discussed a variety of issues which makes her very qualified to fill Morgan’s time slot.