The identity of King's successor is no surprise. The first reports that Morgan was set to take the job came back in June. But the expected announcement failed to materialize on time, leading CNN to ask King, who had planned to retire this fall, to stay on through the end of the year. That prompted disputed rumors that Morgan was having difficulty obtaining the necessary work visa. Morgan will succeed King in the 9 p.m. ET slot beginning in January.
Morgan made his name editing two of England's notoriously scrappy tabloids, News of the World (which he took over when he was only 28 years old) and the Daily Mirror. His tenure at the latter ended in 2004 after photos the paper published of British troops mistreating Iraqi detainees were shown to be the work of a hoaxer.
He's well known in the U.K. from his top-rated interview show Piers Morgan's Life Stories and his role as a judge on Britain's Got Talent, and familiar in the U.S. to viewers of that show's spin-off, America's Got Talent.
CNN made another announcement about its prime time schedule yesterday: It revealed the name of the new 8 p.m. ET debate show hosted by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. The show will be called Parker Spitzer. It will premiere Oct. 4.