Is Piers Morgan’s ‘News with Views’ Approach CNN’s Future?

By Alex Weprin 

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Yesterday at the Television Critics Association Winter press tour, soon-to-be CNN 9 PM host Piers Morgan announced that Oprah Winfrey would be his first guest.

This morning, The Guardian discussed Morgan’s CNN launch with its own take: that the former UK tabloid editor is leading CNN to a more openly opinionated future.

And so with impeccable timing, Piers Morgan enters the fray, with his CNN show beginning on 17 January, complete with his splenetic tweeting on his love of Arsenal, dislike of Alan Sugar and support for student demonstrations. The liberal media might be horrified by the success of Beck, but they are as anxious to emulate as to condemn.

That is part of what makes Morgan refreshingly different. While most news anchors pooh-pooh the notion that they even look at ratings for their shows, Morgan seems to put them first. Yesterday, he told the assembled TV critics:

“They have a short-term problem with ratings in America,” he added. “But you’ve got to keep it in perspective. There’s no doubt that CNN has had their butts kicked by Fox News and MSNBC in primetime. I would like to get to the point … where the butt-kicking is reversed a bit. I am absolutely confident we can.”

Will he succeed? Only time will tell, but there is no doubt that his more opinionated take on the news, along with an acknowledgment that ratings rule, are atypical for CNN.

(h/t J$P)