Tags: Fox | CNN | Anderson Cooper | Piers Morgan | Megyn Kelly | ratings

Piers Morgan Suggested CNN Replace Cooper With Fox's Kelly

Image: Piers Morgan Suggested CNN Replace Cooper With Fox's Kelly
Journalist Piers Morgan. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for WWE)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 02:51 PM

Piers Morgan wanted a stronger lead-in to his now-defunct CNN talk show and suggested hiring Fox News star Megyn Kelly to replace Anderson Cooper, whose program aired before his.

In a column published by The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan says he went to CNN's new chief Jeff Zucker and suggested Cooper be replaced by Kelly, whom Morgan described as "young, beautiful, slick, razor smart, bursting with opinions, humor and authority" — a perfect prime-time star to boost the cable network's ratings.

"I was convinced she'd give me a much better [9 p.m.] lead-in than Anderson Cooper, who for all his qualities as a reporter is stiff in a studio and gets annihilated in the ratings every night by [Fox News's Bill] O'Reilly," Morgan confessed.

His own show, which replaced Larry King, got cancelled last February and concluded in September after airing for four years. He has since been hired by the U.K.'s Daily Mail as editor at large.

Morgan, in his THR column, said Zucker told him he tried to nab Kelly for his new team, agreeing with his suggestion that she'd be a hit on CNN. Days later, the announcement came from Fox that Kelly had been moved to her own primetime show, which has been successful.

Morgan has been quick to pin his sagging ratings on the elegant but distant Cooper, telling Politico last week that his lead-in added to his problems at CNN. He said he didn't dislike Cooper but the two didn't exactly get on famously.

"You look over at Megyn Kelly on Fox News and she's inheriting 450,000 or 500,000 from Bill O'Reilly in the [25-to-54-year-old] demo, and some days I'd be getting 60,000," Morgan said in an exclusive interview with Politico's Dylan Byers. "That's not to denigrate Anderson so much, because I think he's pretty good at what he does. But was he the golden boy everybody thought he was? I didn't see much evidence of that in ratings."

Morgan decried to Politico a focus on ratings at CNN, noting quality mattered more.

"I've always felt that CNN should be more resilient to media criticism about monthly or quarterly ratings," Morgan says. "Ted Turner once described CNN to me as The New York Times of television. We don't care about chasing ratings or chasing readers. We care about having a brand that is so trusted that whenever anything important happens in the world, people turn us on.

As Morgan continues his post-CNN dish, the Daily Caller outlined some revelations that have unfolded about his time there. Among them: A call from Zucker asking him to take his anger against gun enthusiasts down a notch.

According to Morgan, Zucker said: "You shouldn't call these pro-gun guys 'idiots' on air. Better to say, 'I think your argument is idiotic.'"

Morgan shot back: "But they are idiots."

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Piers Morgan wanted a stronger lead-in to his now-defunct CNN talk show and suggested hiring Fox News star Megyn Kelly to replace Anderson Cooper, whose program aired before his, Mediaite reports.
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Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 02:51 PM
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