The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Morgan, 48, hosts the most-watched nightly show on CNN (averaging about 500,000 viewers and airing in more than 200 countries). But it's his relentless advocacy for gun control, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre, that this year thrust him into the news cycle.
"I'm a clear voice," he says. "I don't want to be Mr. Shouty. It's about choosing the right issue, and this is the right issue for America."
As CNN transforms to better compete with Fox News and MSNBC under new chief Jeff Zucker -- who, ironically, allowed Morgan to take his current job when Zucker was running NBCUniversal and Morgan was under contract at NBC's America's Got Talent -- clear voices like Morgan's seem to be a priority.
Two years after replacing CNN legend Larry King, the former Daily Mirror editor says he is much more comfortable battling guests like Ted Nugent on the air (and on Twitter, where he has amassed 3.4 million followers), though he admits the CNN ratings turnaround is a work in progress.
"The key challenge is to make the programs distinctive," he says. He's especially proud of newsy PML exclusives with the Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
MOST DESIRED "GET": "Jack Nicholson. I know Jack will read this. He should know I will never relent."