Goodbye Piers Morgan: British Host Not Loved for Commentary on America
Fans of Piers Morgan Live will undoubtedly be sad to hear of it’s recent cancellation — but fans appear to be few and far between. CNN Money reports that CNN made an official statement in which it “confirms that Piers Morgan Live is ending,” and that, “The date of the final program is still to be determined.” Morgan, a British journalist/talk-show host, has been suffering bad ratings for a while now, something widely blamed on his failure to adapt to an American audience and his heavy criticism of American gun laws — and America in general. Morgan came in as a replacement for Larry King, taking over a cushy prime time slot.
Morgan may not be entirely out of work at CNN, but it will certainly need to be different work, at least based on what he’s said. In an interview with the New York Times, he admitted that his ratings have been poor. “It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” said Morgan. “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 (CNN President, Jeffrey Zucker) and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”
Morgan is certainly self-aware when it comes to the problems voiced by his critics, admitting that he’s “in danger of being the guy down at the end of the bar who is always going on about the same thing,” and that he imagines there are many in the U.S. who are annoyed with “this British guy telling them how to lead their lives and what they should do with their guns.” Even so, he went out with a number of rather in character remarks via twitter, joking that it’s “Humbling to bring such happiness to so many people today,” and later touching once more on his familiar rhetoric, saying “I wouldn’t get too excited @NRA — I’m not done with you yet @GunControlNow.”
Some have rumored that the show’s cancellation has something to do with the British detectives from Scotland Yard having interviewed Morgan recently over phone-hacking. CNN spokesperson Allison Gollust flatly denied this, saying “The decision had nothing to do with the hacking interview — not at all,” according to The Guardian. Whether it’s hacking or an overabundance of cricket references, Morgan looks to be going out, begging the question — what will CNN do with that time slot? According to Politico, it could be Bill Weir, previously a Nightline anchor who left ABC for CNN, and who would doubtless be glad for a chance at a better spot. Of course, it’s possible the slot will be used for different kinds of programming that could pull in more ratings, and wouldn’t require the same competition with Rachel Maddow and Megyn Kelly, from MSNBC and Fox News’ prime time slots — though according to Politico, CNN’s Zucker has said they aren’t the ones to be watching.