LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Piers Morgan, the CNN primetime host whose efforts to provide the network with a new type of celebrity-interview show met with ratings headwinds, has officially left the cable news channel after declining a new two-year deal that would have made him the host of a sporadic interview series.
"I was offered a new 2-year deal by CNN boss Jeff Zucker to host 40 big interview 'specials,'" Morgan said via Twitter. "But after considerable thought, I decided not to accept it - and to try pastures new."
Morgan began anchoring the network's 9 p.m. slot starting in January of 2011, replacing the durable "Larry King Live" with a celebrity-interview show that did not always hit the target with CNN viewers. The program, in which Morgan could be seen breaking away from conversations with perplexed guests like Gregg Allman to ask if they had inadvertently given him a scoop in their responses, proved to be fodder for satire on "Saturday Night Live." Morgan also used the program to rally against the National Rifle Association.
"I knew this kind of outburst wouldn't endear me to gun-loving Americans, but I'd do it all over again," he tweeted on Tuesday, linking to a debate on gun control following the Newton elementary shooting.