The network confirmed the news to outlets Sunday night, while Morgan gave an interview to the New York Times saying that the show will likely air its final episode next month.
“It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” said Morgan, a former UK tabloid editor and “America’s Got Talent” judge. “…Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it.”
That audience has been slim to none lately, and the ratings were so low (less than 600,000 viewers, per Variety) that CNN president Jeff Zucker ran out of patience. Still, Morgan has managed to stay in the headlines himself. Most notably, he has become a staunch gun control advocate, especially in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shootings in 2012.
He got into explosive arguments about gun control with guests on his show, and made his opinions known on Twitter. In response to Morgan’s views, radio host Alex Jones started a petition to have Morgan deported, and got so many signatures that the White House was forced to officially respond (it read, in part, “…no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment.”) Morgan has rarely kept quiet down on any gun-related issue, even tweeting over the weekend:
Or because America has too many guns? > RT @AxlRosenberg @piersmorgan Ah, John Lennon. The guy who died because he was not carrying a gun.Recently, Morgan was heavily criticized for his treatment of transgender activist Janet Mock, who came on his show to promote her memoir; Morgan asked many questions about how she was “born a boy,” and Mock said he “sensationalized” her story. (Mock later went back on the show and Morgan defended himself as people accused him of “transphobia.”)
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 23, 2014