This just in: Piers Morgan is getting Larry King’s job.
On Wednesday, CNN announced that former British tabloid editor and America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan “will host a candid, in-depth newsmaker interview program” on the ratings-challenged cable network beginning in January.
In June, King, 76, announced that he was stepping down as host of Larry King Live, the primetime gabfest he’s hosted since 1985. The broadcast veteran had been vocal about his desire to see friend and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest succeed him as the face of CNN’s nightly lineup.
Nonetheless, Piers praised King in a statement accepting his appointment:
“I have watched Larry King Live for much of the last 25 years, and dreamed of one day filling the legendary suspenders of the man I consider to be the greatest TV interviewer of them all,” Morgan, 45, said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be joining CNN, and very much looking forward to bringing my own style of interviewing to the world’s biggest, and best, TV news organization. As a young journalist in Britain, I watched CNN’s astonishing live coverage of the 1991 Gulf War, and felt enthralled by the courage and brilliance of the journalists involved in that coverage. Years later, I watched Anderson Cooper’s visceral reports from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and felt equally enthralled by his passionate and relentless search for the truth.”
CNN’s US President Jon Klein chimed in with: “Piers has made his name posing tough questions to public figures, holding them accountable for their words and deeds. He is able to look at all aspects of the news with style and humor with an occasional good laugh in the process.”
Piers’ still-untitled program — based in New York — will air weeknights @ 9PM ET/PT on CNN.