PEOPLE: Piers Morgan to replace King

Piers Morgan to replace King

NEW YORK — British tabloid veteran Piers Morgan, hired by CNN to start as Larry King’s replacement as a prime-time interviewer in January, promised that he ‘‘came here to win.’’

CNN nailed down the final piece of its prime-time makeover on Wednesday, after months where it was clear the ‘‘America’s Got Talent’’ panelist was its top choice. King, who announced in June he was leaving ‘‘Larry King Live,’’ will have his final show on Dec. 16.

Negotiations dragged while CNN worked out a deal that allows Morgan to continue on ‘‘America’s Got Talent’’ and his British talk show, ‘‘Piers Morgan’s Life Stories,’’ on Britain’s ITV.

‘‘I didn’t come here to lose,’’ he said. ‘‘I have always spent my life in ferocious ratings or circulation wars. It’s what gets me going in the morning, and I want to combine brilliant interviews with great ratings.’’

That would be fine with CNN; King was once cable TV news’ top gun but now runs third in his 9 p.m. ET time slot. Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity has averaged 2.27 million viewers this year at that hour, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has 931,000 viewers and King averages 702,000, according to the Nielsen Co.

Snooki fined $500 for being annoying

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. — Calling her ‘‘a Lindsay Lohan wannabe,’’ a judge has fined ‘‘Jersey Shore’’ star Nicole ‘‘Snooki’’ Polizzi $500 and ordered her to perform community service after she pleaded guilty to disturbing others on a New Jersey beach in July.

Her lawyer said Wednesday that Polizzi was under the influence of alcohol when she stumbled around the beach in Seaside Heights, using loud language that disturbed other beachgoers.

Polizzi apologized to police and anyone else she bothered, claiming her behavior was not scripted as part of the show, even though cameras were rolling.