Morgan hobnobbing with Gordon Brown, left, former Prime Minister of the Uniter Kingdom (Courtesy of the Daily Mail)

Piers Morgan, the charismatic but obtrusive host of CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, is struggling to fill Larry King’s shoes at CNN. Morgan had taken over for the decidedly wishy-washy King, in his 9 p.m slot.

Morgan’s show had an average of just 154,000 viewers in the 25 to 54 age demographic for November, according to Nielsen. Mr. King had an average of 161,000 in the same month last year, marking a 4 percent decrease. Morgan’s total audience in November diminished as well, drawing 620,000 viewers against King’s 635,000.

According to Media Decoder, a New York Times blog on the media industry, the ratings are worth noting, “because Mr. King’s ratings were nearly universally recognized as unacceptably low for CNN last year, and because Mr. Morgan’s ratings are trending downward.”
Morgan started off very strong, drawing in 2.1 million viewers for his first show, when he interviewed Oprah Winfrey.
Morgan’s first big break came, interestingly enough, when he was hired by The News of the World in 1994. (In the New York Times, there was an amusing anecdote, that Morgan asked Rupert Murdoch, who among others things owns Fox News, to come on CNN, the mogul wrote back, “Your chances are less than zero,” and, “I wish you good luck, but I do not wish you success.”)
However, despite his penchant for stirring up trouble on Twitter, and his ability to get A-listers on his show, he has not been able to draw CNN out of its’ ratings slump. But only time will tell if Morgan’s derisive manner will translate into success for CNN.
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