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Piers Morgan Bio


A photo of CNN host Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan may create controversy, but he also is capable of creating valuable media buzz through his career in newspapers and television.

Photo © Getty Images

Current Media Position:

Host of Piers Morgan Live on CNN. The program was previously called Piers Morgan Tonight. In February 2014, CNN announced that is was canceling this show from its lineup. It's not known what role, if any, Morgan will continue to have at CNN.

Significance to the Media Industry:

Piers Morgan built his personal brand as a TV personality by developing himself as a TV interviewer. He has made an art out of asking tough questions to generate information from people, who may have been interviewed by others countless times, in order to uncover revealing details.

Morgan honed his skills in his native Great Britain, where he was a journalist and editor for several newspapers. He has come under scrutiny in the U.K.'s phone-hacking scandal along with News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch, but has proclaimed his innocence to a judge.

Morgan's media career is tough to categorize. While he can be called a print journalist and TV interviewer, he is also part of entertainment media. Not only is he widely known in the U.S. as a former judge on NBC's America's Got Talent, he also won the NBC reality TV competition Celebrity Apprentice. Morgan can cross genres effortlessly.

Piers Morgan's Early Career:

Piers Morgan began as a newspaper reporter in 1985, but rose to become editor of Murdoch's News of the World in 1994. At 28 years old, he was the youngest national newspaper editor in the U.K. in a half-century.

He then moved to the Daily Mirror, another national newspaper in Great Britain. Under his leadership, the paper won awards for its coverage of the 9/11 attacks.

That's when Morgan began to expand his media career -- writing several books and launching TV programs that showcased his interviewing style. He became further recognized as a judge on Britain's Got Talent, the U.K. version that became the model for the U.S. program America's Got Talent.

It was a surprise when CNN named Morgan as its choice to replace its trademark star, Larry King. At that time, many Americans hadn't been exposed to Morgan's interviewing skills. While King developed himself on radio before making the jump to TV, Morgan had followed a similar career track by working in print media before leaping to television.

Career Highlights:

Piers Morgan has found equal doses of success and controversy throughout much of his career. Because newspaper journalism in the U.K. operates much differently than in the U.S., he's likely to approach news with a viewpoint that's at odds with the standards of America.

Morgan was fired from The Mirror in 2004 after the paper published phony photographs that were meant to show British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. That episose didn't destroy Morgan's media career, as would be expected.

Much of Morgan's recent career has been focused on television, both in the U.K. and the U.S. Besides his roles on America's Got Talent and Celebrity Apprentice, he launched Piers Morgan's Life Stories in Great Britain, which has received high ratings and attracted guests such as then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Piers Morgan Tonight premiered on CNN in January 2011. It debuted to mixed reviews and Nielsen ratings. Even so, considering CNN's programming troubles, Morgan is still being counted on to help save CNN, through his ability to generate pop culture buzz.

Personal Information:

Piers Morgan was born Piers Stefan O'Meara on March 30, 1965, in England. He pursued journalism in college.

Morgan has three children from his first marriage, which lasted from 1991 until 2008. He married for a second time in 2010 and has a daughter from that relationship.

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