CNN calls Piers Morgan ‘sad’, defends Anderson Cooper in harsh statement
Network hits back at the former Piers Morgan Tonight host for his comments blaming Cooper for his own show’s poor ratings
Piers Morgan has spent a bitter week hitting out at his former CNN colleague Anderson Cooper, blaming the dismal ratings for Piers Morgan Tonight on Cooper’s poor lead-in.
On Thursday, CNN hit back, calling his behaviour “sad” and accusing Morgan of denigrating Cooper in an attempt to get a new TV job.
The flame war started with an interview Morgan gave to Politico , published on 2 October. “Could I have done with a better lead-in?” he said. “Yes. Anderson is a great field reporter, but does he drive big ratings at CNN, outside of a big news cycle? I don’t see any evidence of it.”
It continued with a column Morgan wrote for the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, where he described Cooper as “stiff in a studio”, and that his show gets “annihilated in the ratings” by Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. He said he blamed Cooper for not bringing in a strong enough audience for his AC360 show, who would then go on to watch Piers Morgan Tonight.
He expanded on his relationship with Cooper in an interview with Access Hollywood . “I don’t get on that well with Anderson, never had that much to do with Anderson,” Morgan said, continuing: “It’s not to denigrate Anderson who is a very, very good field reporter. But to me as a studio star, he’s not really what CNN needs.” He also suggested CNN should have hired Megyn Kelly, the Fox News anchor whose show airs at 9pm, the slot formerly occupied by Morgan on CNN.
On Thursday CNN spokeswoman Megan Rivers retaliated, in a statement first obtained by Politico which said: “For the two-and-a-half years that AC 360 served as the lead-in to Piers Morgan’s program on CNN, it always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program. And for the seven months that Piers Morgan’s program led into AC 360, 360 always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program.”
“It is sad that Piers is trying to find a new job by misrepresenting how he performed in his old one.”
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