Morgan’s “Shooting Straight: Guns, God, Gays and George Clooney,” is a diary of his first three years at CNN, since taking over the timeslot of the legendary Larry King. Hosted by British GQ editor Dylan Jones at the swank Carlyle Restaurant, the guest list included everyone from Fareed Zakaria and Jenny McCarthy to Donald Trump and Tony Bennett. “If there’s a cooler man alive, I’ve not met him,” said Morgan of Bennett.
We also spotted Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, who arrived after updating the West Coast feed of “World News.” And morning anchors, Charlie Rose of CBS, and NBC’s Matt Lauer. Asked what he thought about his new “Today” show set, Lauer paused, then said, “It’s very orange.” It’s taking some getting used to, Lauer added.
Another morning host, CNN’s Chris Cuomo told us reports of troubled times at “New Day” are off the mark. “I’ve never had a closer working relationship with a co-anchor than I have with Kate (Bolduan),” Cuomo said. While ratings are growing — the program was up +29% in viewers and up +15% in the demo in the third quarter — Cuomo admits it’s going to take time to prove the show’s worth. “New Day” launched four months ago today. “Joe (Scarborough) told me it took 15 to 18 months for that show to break out,” he added, speaking of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Back to Morgan who gave a special shout-out to CNN president Jeff Zucker, who’s been his boss twice, first at NBC and now at CNN.
“I had breakfast with Jeff when he was gone from NBC and I said, ‘wouldn’t it be funny if you turned up at CNN?” and he said, ‘Yeah, that’d be crazy,’ … and here he is.”
“I think we all feel a renewed sense of vigor about the place,” said Morgan.
CNN execs Amy Entelis, Andrew Morse, and Ken Jautz, were there as were ABC News president Ben Sherwood, and former CNN president Jon Klein, who brought Morgan to CNN in 2010. Morgan’s EP Jonathan Wald stayed up to date on the Senate vote, before rushing back to CNN where Morgan anchored two hours, live at 9pm and Midnight.
Also on hand, Dan Rather (who also dropped by Chris Matthews‘ book party later) and CNN’s Don Lemon, looking trim after dropping 18 pounds in two weeks, with a goal of 21 pounds in 21 days. He’s on the Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox. We chatted with Bloomberg’s Trish Regan and Adam Johnson, who are convinced the show they anchored yesterday, could be repeated in a few months when the shutdown deal struck last night, comes due again.
(Photos: Clint Spaulding)
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