Piers Morgan to join Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Media and new channel TalkTV

Former ‘Good Morning Britain’ presenter will launch a new TV show to air on weeknights in the UK, USA and Australia

Holly Bancroft
Thursday 16 September 2021 17:41
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Related video: Piers Morgan cleared by UK regulator Ofcom over Meghan Markle comments

Rupert Murdoch’s News UK is set to launch a new current affairs TV channel in Britain, with Piers Morgan signing on in a new global deal.

The station, named talkTV, will offer a mix of “hourly news bulletins, sports and entertainment shows as well as current affairs, debate, opinion and documentaries”, the group said in a statement.

The channel will launch in early 2022, with Morgan’s new weeknight show being its main draw.

It will be available live, and on demand, on a television or any personal device.

The former Good Morning Britain presenter has also signed a wide-ranging deal to join News Corp and Fox News Media, it was announced on Thursday.

Alongside helping to launch the new channel, Morgan will publish two weekly columns online for the New York Post and The Sun.

He said he was “thrilled to be returning to News Corp, which is where I began my media career more than 30 years ago”, adding: “Rupert Murdoch has been a constant and fearless champion of free speech and we are going to be building something new and very exciting together.”

The TV presenter left ITV earlier this year over a row about comments he made about the Duchess of Sussex. Morgan said that he hadn’t believed a word of what Meghan had said about her mental health in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Speaking about his new move, Morgan said: “I want my global show to be a fearless forum for lively debate and agenda-setting interviews, and a place that celebrates the right of everyone to have an opinion, and for those opinions to be vigorously examined and challenged.”

He concluded: “I’m going home and we’re going to have some fun.”

News UK already owns a number of media outlets in the UK, including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, talkRADIO, talkSPORT, Virgin Radio and Times Radio.

Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp, said: “Piers is the broadcaster every channel wants but is too afraid to hire. Piers is a brilliant presenter, a talented journalist and says what people are thinking and feeling.

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“He has many passionate fans around the world and we look forward to expanding his audience in the UK, at FOX Nation, Sky News Australia, The Sun and the New York Post.”

Publisher HarperCollins, which is owned by News Corp, will also publish the follow-up to Piers Morgan’s book Wake Up.

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK, referred to the appointment as “the most brilliant primetime draw for our new talkTV service” and added that “Sun readers love Piers and I am delighted that he is back. Welcome home!”

Speaking about the new TV channel, Brooks continued: “We are committed to providing choice for television and streaming viewers and bringing the best of our journalism to the screen. Taking advantage of modern technology, we can produce high quality shows at low cost.”

The announcement comes after it was reported earlier this year that Brooks had got cold feet over the costs of getting a new television channel on air.

She told staff in April that “while there is consumer demand for alternative news provision, the costs of running a rolling news channel are considerable, and it is our assessment that the payback for our shareholders wouldn’t be sufficient”.

However it now seems News UK has had a change of heart with the arrival of talkTV.

Rival TV channel GB News has been beset by troubles, and this week veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil stepped down as chair and presenter.

The departure followed reports that Mr Neil had clashed with the station’s chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos.

His departure has raised questions about the future of the station and its other presenters.

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