Larry King to End Show After 25 Years
By PopEater Staff Posted Jun 29th 2010 08:45PM
On Tuesday evening, TV broadcasting legend Larry King dropped a bombshell: after 25 years of hosting the 'Larry King Live' show on CNN, his nightly show will end this fall. King made the surprising announcement via his Twitter account right before he taped this evening's show. "Announcing tonight: I'm ending my nightly show this fall but continuing at CNN," King wrote.
In a full statement on CNN.com, the TV icon said, "Before I start the show tonight, 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.
"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."
The journalist will still appear on CNN frequently, hosting topic-related specials. "I'll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects," King confirmed in the statement.
The decision to leave the show comes after months of declining ratings and media speculation about the future of King's career. The NY Times reported in March that the program was down about 50 percent in viewers and had seen its worst quarter ever at the start of the year.
King's announcement also comes just a few weeks after his own personal life made headline news. In April, King and his wife, Shawn Southwick, filed for divorce after both accused the other of infidelity. A month later, the reconciled couple called off the divorce and moved back in together. Earlier this month, Southwick suffered a prescription pill overdose and has been recovering since.
Though he's leaving amid low ratings, there's no question it's the end of an era. In 1985, CNN founder Ted Turner gave King the opportunity to host his own show on the network. He agreed to give it a try and left his nationally syndicated radio talk show. 25 years later, his show is still a must-visit for celebrities and politicians needing a place to break news or make an apology. Several major news events took place on the show including Ross Perot announcing his run for president in 1992 and O.J. Simpson calling in the night of his acquittal.
Over the course of his career, King has won two Peabody awards and an Emmy. He was also inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1992.
The departure of the suspenders-wearing broadcaster leaves quite a hole in CNN's evening programming with many wondering who will step in to replace the icon. Some assume the network will pull from its already vast pool of journalists while others predict new blood would help the already-flailing network.
British star Piers Morgan, currently on 'America's Got Talent,' was mentioned as a possible replacement for King earlier this month, though CNN swiftly dismissed that rumor. Their statement at the time said, "Not surprisingly, there is no shortage of people who would love to succeed Larry King if and when he moves on, but rumors that we are close to signing a deal for a Larry King replacement are untrue."
Katie Couric has also been named a possible replacement. And the Associated Press reports King thinks Ryan Seacrest should take over the reins.
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