CNN is pulling the plug on Piers Morgan. Low ratings, not any particular scandal or incident, doomed the former UK tabloid editor's show after three years.
Morgan was told by CNN president Jeff Zucker it “was time for the show to end," but not because of the phone-hacking allegations surfacing in Britain.
“The decision had nothing to do with the hacking interview - not at all,” said CNN’s Allison Gollust, who denied the move was due to anything but ratings.
Morgan lost his job at the celebrity news tabloid The Daily Mirror after publishing fake pictures of alleged British troop misconduct in Iraq, but bounced back.
He'd built a reputation for campaigns on gun control while at CNN but was blamed for a steady slide in the show’s ratings since Larry King’s retirement.
“It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” Morgan told the N.Y. Times, which first broke news of the CNN decision Sunday.
“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns."
"This 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.”
Morgan struggled to match the ratings regularly achieved by his predecessor and had recently started to suffer new lows in terms of audience figures.
This month saw six of the show’s smallest 10 audiences since early 2011.
David Carr of the Times wrote that Piers Morgan Tonight had been “an unhappy collision between a British TV personality who refuses to assimilate."
"The only football he cares about is round and his lectures on guns were rife with contempt ... and a CNN audience that is intrinsically provincial."
Sad to see Piers get the boot? Happy? Indifferent? Discuss.