“To be in this new jungle you have to make noise and I intend to make noise,” Morgan, 45, said today at a meeting of television critics in Pasadena, Calif. “No question that CNN is getting its butt kicked in prime time by Fox and MSNBC, and I intend to turn that around. I enjoyed competing with Rupert Murdoch before and I hope to kick his butt.”
Morgan takes over on Jan. 17. His arrival comes after “Larry King Live,” the dominant prime-time cable news program in the 1990s, fell behind Bill O’Reilly of Fox News and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. In 2010, King averaged 671,000 viewers for Time Warner Inc.-owned CNN, according to Nielsen Co. data, down 38 percent from 2009’s 1.1 million and from 1.6 million in 1998.
Oprah Winfrey will be Morgan’s first guest. The show will travel to London for the April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Morgan said he won’t have Madonna on his show.
“Lady Gaga is twice as good, half her age and twice as hot,” Morgan said. “I’d rather have her.” His best interview ever was with Simon Cowell, the former judge on TV’s “American Idol,” because “I made him cry.”
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