CNN has confirmed that former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan is to join the channel as the replacement for veteran interviewer Larry King when he retires at the end of the year.
Morgan, who was sacked by the Mirror in 2004 after publishing faked photos allegedly showing prisoners being abused in Iraq, is to host a “candid, in-depth newsmaker interview program” airing weeknights at 9pm Eastern Time in the US.
Jon Klein, president of CNN, said: “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. He is a natural fit with Anderson Cooper, Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker in our prime time line up, and the ideal choice to update the storied tradition of newsmaker talk on CNN.”
Morgan said: “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.
“Perhaps most pertinently, 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.
“To now have the chance to work with Larry and Anderson, and to try and continue the outstanding journalistic legacy created by them, and so many others at CNN, is both a great honor, and a great challenge.”
Morgan is also to provide regular columns for CNN.com as part of the deal.