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Will Piers Morgan be any good as a replacement for CNN’s Larry King?

He hasn’t officially got the job yet of course but he’s acknowledged that negotiations are reaching a conclusion so expect Britain’s Piers Morgan, currently a judge on America’s Got Talent and host of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on ITV in the UK, to confirm his entry into the broadcasting stratosphere as the replacement for Larry King on CNN very soon.

So can Piers, who’s hardly loved in the UK although he’s undeniably successful, hack it in the US of A?

It’s very hard to say; Morgan is undeniably good at getting celebs to open up to him, give him Katie Price or the Duchess of York and he’s in his element. But his whole background is in frothy celeb stuff.

When he was briefly editor of the Daily Mirror he took a brave stance against the Iraq War only to see sales plummet and then provide the management with the perfect chance to fire him when he printed some faked pictures purporting to show British troops abusing Iraqis (there must surely have been enough real ones going around).

So the jury is out on whether or not Piers can do serious and although his facility with celebs, particularly flirtatious actresses, presumably appeals to CNN it also surely wants him to handle big political and economic stories and interviews – and nobody really knows whether he can.

Morgan must be keen to make the switch and not just for the money. His benefactor Simon Cowell, who wheeled him in initially for Britain’s Got Talent, is beginning to look like last year’s story as the public tires of his shows’ brazen artifice and Cowell’s own musical taste for soupy ballads.

Morgan needs the switch as much as CNN needs a new host. Expect the aforementioned negotiations to be concluded rather swiftly.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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