Alternating Hosts to Vie for Piers Morgan's CNN Spot

Saturday, 08 Mar 2014 06:57 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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CNN's Piers Morgan will replaced by alternating hosts Bill Weir, Jake Tapper, and possibly others while the network decides what it will do with his coveted 9 p.m. prime-time spot.

The news network, whose ratings have been plummeting in recent years, said in February it was pulling the plug on Morgan's show.

On Saturday, Politico reported the British newsman's time slot will host a competition between Weir and Tapper.

Morgan took over the show from veteran host Larry King three years ago. King, who has gone on to host his own show on the online Ora.TV network, has also said he'd be more than willing to return to CNN to take back the time slot, but CNN apparently hasn't decided to take the 81-year-old up on that offer.

The show's final episodes will air at the end of this month. Weir, a former ABC Nightline anchor, will guest-host "Piers Morgan Live" for the week of March 17, and Morgan will return the next week for his final broadcast. After that, Tapper is scheduled to take over, and CNN plans to test him, Weir, and other hosts before deciding what it will do with the time slot.

CNN Senior Vice President of Communications Allison Gollust said that the network isn't going to comment on its programming decisions.

"All I can say is you will see a lot of experimentation on our air in the coming weeks," she said. "A lot of decisions have yet to be made."

Weir has been rumored for some time to be the frontrunner to replace Morgan, while Tapper, host of "The Lead" at 4 p.m., is also being groomed for a primetime spot.

Meanwhile, Morgan says he's staying at CNN and will likely do "big name" interviews rather than have a daily talk show.

"I'll make a deal to do 20 or 25 shows a year, all interviews with big names. That's what I wanted to do in the first place, not reports on snowstorms and that kind of thing," Morgan told the website.

Morgan said he expects his 9 p.m. time slot to be filled with a "news program of some kind."

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