NBCU Chief Jeff Zucker confirms Piers Morgan will continue on 'America's Got Talent' and has asked to do 'another job'
During an appearance Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker confirmed reports that the network is allowing "America’s Got Talent" judge Piers Morgan to pursue Larry King’s job on CNN.
Calling Morgan "an incredibly important talent," Zucker said NBC has signed the British personality to stay on as judge of the reality competition for another three years.
"Having said that, I can also tell you that he has approached us about asking us to do another job as well," Zucker told hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, without specifically naming CNN. "And those conversations are continuing, and I don't think they're mutually exclusive."
Morgan has emerged as the top choice of CNN executives to succeed King, who announced last month that he will be stepping down from his nightly show after a quarter century on the air.
The Times reported Tuesday that NBC was willing to let Morgan appear on a rival network after receiving financial concessions from CNN's parent company, Turner Broadcasting, on other deals between the two companies. Nevertheless, the move is unusual, in no small part because Morgan would be facing off against one of MSNBC's top programs, "The Rachel Maddow Show."
On Wednesday, Zucker's confirmation of Morgan's arrangement prompted Brzezinski and Scarborough to react with mock surprise and suggest that they had their own projects they'd like to pursue.
"I know what's going on in those heads," Zucker said, laughing, as Brzezinski pretended she had received an e-mail from her agent and Scarborugh feigned taking a call on his cellphone.
"Listen, Mika and Joe, I'm happy that you'll be with us for many years to come, as well," Zucker said, trying to placate them.
-- Matea Gold