David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

TV Legend, Larry King, “Hanging Up” Suspenders

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] – Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Broadcasting will soon lose a legend as CNN’s Larry King announces he’s stepping down this fall.

Citing his desire to spend more time with his wife and children, King, 76, announced the news on his Twitter account.

“I want to share some personal news with you. 25 years ago, I sat across this table from New York Governor Mario Cuomo for the first broadcast of Larry King Live. Now, decades later, I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games,” King wrote.

“I’m incredibly proud that we recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot. With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders.”

NEW INFORMATION:

Former First Lady Nancy Regan called in to Larry King Live Tuesday night saying, “Lots of luck, Larry.  I’ll miss you.”

Television journalist Diane Sawyer called in and told Larry, “We love and honor you.”  King said he hopped Sawyer would be among the guests on his final episode; Sawyer said “put me down in ink.”

For more than two decades, Larry King Live has been a hot spot for political heavyweights and entertainment greats.  King has hosted world leaders such as the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The calm, charismatic and never shy icon in a bow tie has interviewed more than 50,000 people over his long career.  The iconic King sat

King interviews entertainment legend Elizabeth Taylor

down with every U.S. President since Richard Nixon.

He isn’t as much an interviewer as he’s a conversationalist.  He doesn’t merely pose questions and listen to answers.  He engages some of the most powerful people in the world in conversations about their private lives, aspirations, hopes and dreams.

King became a presence as he often sat in the presence of people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mikhail Gorbachev, and Frank Sinatra.

If this story sounds like a bit of an obituary it isn’t meant to.  King isn’t giving up the desk all together.  He’ll still make appearances on CNN as a special correspondent and likely host news specials.  But to those who admire the journalist, it does feel like a piece of the industry will die when King leaves prime time.

“He will end his run with Larry King Live on his own terms, sometime this fall,” said Jon Klein, president of CNNUS. “Larry is a beloved member of the CNN family and will continue to contribute to our air with periodic specials.”

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June 29, 2010 - Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , , ,

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