Piers Morgan appears to be closing in on CNN’s coveted 9 PM talk show spot, which’ll open up this fall when Larry King says goodbye to his Larry King Live after 25 years on the air.
Naturally, the guy with the glasses and suspenders has something to say about the former English tabloid reporter widely rumored to be his replacement.
King — who earned a reported $10 million a year to host Live — is stepping down in November. Morgan, 45, who is host of a primetime, monthly interview show in Britain, has been the number one candidate to the coveted King spot for several months. He’s in serious chats for King’s timeslot — in fact he’s already milling a three-year deal worth $8 million to accept the gig.
In an interview with Forbes.com, King reveals that he’s familiar with Morgan, even though the former winner of Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice has appeared on Larry King Live on a few occasions:
“Most Americans wouldn’t [know Morgan] unless you watch ‘America’s Got Talent.’ And if you watch that, you only know him as a judge. You don’t know him as a host…other than being a guest on my show, I’ve never watched ‘America’s Got Talent’ and I don’t know if I’d recognize him if he was walking down the street….”
Larry also makes no secret about who he’d like to see become the new face of CNN primetime in the fall: Ryan Seacrest — although King admits his choice may be a bit biased:
“He’s my favorite. It’s subjective because he’s my friend, but I think he’d be immediately accepted. The camera likes him and he’s a great generalist.”