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CNN’s ‘Larry King Live’ is ending after 25 years

larry-king-updated

After a quarter century, Larry King announced tonight that he will be ending the long-standing “Larry King Live” show this fall but will stay on in some unspecified capacity at CNN.

He said he plans to do specials and spend more time with his family. “It’s time to hang up the nightly suspenders,” he said on his show at 9 p.m. “Until then, we have more shows to do and who knows what the future will bring.”

“There was no pressure from CNN,” he told guest Bill Maher. “It was time.” He also said there was no pressure from the media hordes. “I want new horizons and try other things,” he said. “There’s a freedom.” He noted he has done more than 50,000 interviews.

Reports have Piers Morgan as a possible replacement.

Larry King's retirement

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Here’s the memo sent out by CNN/US president Jon Klein, who declined to say anything about King’s departure last Wednesday after the Eliot Spitzer/Kathleen Parker announcement:

NOTE TO STAFF

TO: CNN Colleagues

FR: Jon Klein

Larry King has asked that I share with you a message to his audience that will be broadcast tonight at the top of his show. After 25 years, Larry has decided to take a step back from the nightly grind.  He wants to take some time for himself and his family. So he will end his run with Larry King Live on his own terms, sometime this fall.

He is not leaving CNN. Larry is a beloved member of the CNN family and he will continue to contribute to our air with periodic specials.

Larry has been a giant in the industry for as long as most of us can remember. Anyone who ever mattered has sat for an interview on Larry’s iconic set. They all know the man it is our privilege to call our colleague and friend–tireless and curious, respectful and inquisitive, caring, generous, influential, a citizen of the world.

We will celebrate his tenure in proper fashion over the coming months. Today is about Larry and about the beginning of a new chapter. It is not about good-bye.

Given King’s age, people have been speculating about his retirement for years, but his ratings held up – until recently. With viewers disappearing sharply, the rumors have amped up even stronger in recent weeks that the end was near. Last Monday, a telethon for oil spill victims drew only 600,000 viewers and $1.8 million in donations. To make matters worse, he’s had his fair share of recent personal turmoil regarding his wife.

The interview show debuted on CNN in 1985, long before MSNBC and Fox  News. For years, it was CNN’s top-rated prime-time show.

King has always prided himself on doing very little prep and being fair to his interviewees. Many critics found him scattered and too softball. Nonetheless, he interviewed almost every prominent person over the years you can think of, including Tammy Faye Bakker, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Monica Lewinsky, Johnny Cash, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.

Ryan Seacrest, a frequent substitute for Larry on his show and possible replacement, on Twitter: You’re a legend @kingsthings. One of a kind.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

45 comments Add your comment

helenwetzel

June 29th, 2010
8:35 pm

i used to like the show but got sick of watching him hold his head up with his hand and doing all that grimacing! he should not have fathered more kids if he wasn’t gonna play with them. he is greedy like don rickles. larry can’t even walk! i thought he would stay till they carried him out . he used to be good but he got snotty recently. he would always have a mad face on him. shawn is beautiful but he would make fun of her and tell her to shut up in interviews. he had to be the big shot and it had to be about him. i wish him luck but i am glad to see him go//1 no offense.i can’t believe shawn ever saw anythng in larry. maybe the money?

Jeff

June 29th, 2010
10:03 pm

Hopefully, since he’s getting rid of the show, he’ll also get rid of that cheating wife and not have to give her anything in the process.

scallywag

June 29th, 2010
10:30 pm

Larry when I lay my head on my pillow tonight I will be crying uncontrollably, for all the stories you broke, the comfort you offered me, the scandals your revealed, the kind words of wisdom you offered me through the Tv set and for one of the most memorable media debacles in recent memory staring you- God bless you Larry.

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/06/the-tears-are-flying-now-that-larry-king-is-retiring/

Alabamastan

June 29th, 2010
10:32 pm

He’s leaving to spend more time with his wives.

Greg

June 29th, 2010
10:42 pm

Who cares???

Prince

June 29th, 2010
10:43 pm

“Larry when I lay my head on my pillow tonight I will be crying uncontrollably??” Ahhh get a life.

Pam

June 29th, 2010
10:44 pm

Go on old man.

Persephoni

June 29th, 2010
10:59 pm

Sad to see you go Larry ! I’m a Canadian who watches your show all the time. It will not be the same no matter who will replace you. I always look forward to your show every night. Unlike all the superficial shows that are being overbred out there.

Jane

June 29th, 2010
11:39 pm

I think he finally realized that he should have retired several years ago. Physically, he looks awful and he seems to have some dementia. It’s sad when celebrities don’t know when to retire. Mary Hart’s another one who should walk into the sunset. She’s so incredibly uninteresting, and her show is in desperate need of some new blood. Even local personalities like Monica Pearson and John Pruitt should give it a rest. Sometimes you have to face the fact that your time in the limelight has gone on way too long.

Helen Graham

June 30th, 2010
5:21 am

Why are so many people so mean? Larry has given the best years of his life to us, and all most people can do is insult him and help carry him off the stage! Talk about man’s inhumanity to man!!! Why don’t these “judgmental” people “shine the light inward if they want to denigrate
others? Don’t these disagreeable people have even a drop of the milk of human kindness in them?

Rodney Ho Moe

June 30th, 2010
7:01 am

HEY Rodney how about a story about Sarah Palin being on the regular guys show yesterday?? You liberal sissy.. go chase Nene and sift through her garbage.

dd

June 30th, 2010
7:13 am

I don’t have anything against the guy, but he has a lot of lame guest’s and lame topics on his show.

Slatest

June 30th, 2010
7:22 am

[...] of us can remember,” CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein wrote to staff in a memo obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Anyone who ever mattered has sat for an interview on Larry’s iconic set. They all [...]

Marvin Mangrum

June 30th, 2010
7:32 am

You know, last nite Larry had on Bill Mahr, the greatest who ever was, telling us all how the war in Afghanistan is all wrong. Sorry, but is Mahr a gutless politician or a clueless comedian. Seriously, which one is he. Now tell me again why King is retiring. Cause his numbers are so low the network doesnt want him back, oh no, no, it cant be. Maybe Bill can be back on tonight.

Helen

June 30th, 2010
7:48 am

Isn’t it ironic that those who lack “the milk of human kindness” can’t even write properly?

Morrus

June 30th, 2010
8:02 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.

aps

June 30th, 2010
8:13 am

I guess you’d have to watch his show at some point to miss it.

Sally

June 30th, 2010
8:23 am

I used to love watching his show. Checked it every night to see who was on and usually watched it. Overtime though, it lost something. I haven’t spent alot of time trying to figure out what that was. But it definately did. I haven’t really watched in probably a couple of years now. I have to give him credit though. He had a great show for a long time. Thanks Larry. Looking forward to what you have in store for us next.

exnuyawker

June 30th, 2010
8:26 am

Good Luck Larry! Enjoy semi-retirement with your family and friends. All the best to you!

hoochie moma

June 30th, 2010
8:32 am

Larry is an Icon. CNN will never be ths same without
him. For all you ignorant and stupid people who not only can’t write but probably can’t read, he secured
mportant interviews when no one else could. We will miss you Larry.

Larry King

June 30th, 2010
8:34 am

I don’t care if it’s sung by a bunch of girly men, but Macho Man by The Village People is the greatest song of all time.

Larry King

June 30th, 2010
8:35 am

I don’t care if it was a show about a POW camp during World War 2, but Hogan’s Heroes is the greatest television show of all time.

Larry King

June 30th, 2010
8:36 am

I don’t care if it takes place in the South, but Smokey & The Bandit is the greatest movie of all time.

Jessica

June 30th, 2010
8:37 am

To the dude who asked about writing about Sarah Palin….listen up dude…we are as sick of hearing about Palin as we are about Nene. She has no depth and quite frankly, without the access to the McCain campaign make up artists, she really ain’t that pretty.

Larry King

June 30th, 2010
8:37 am

What do you mean I’ve been hosting a show on CNN for 25 years?

dmoney72

June 30th, 2010
8:43 am

Hey CNN I have an idea, how about putting a qualified African American in that slot since you are support to be so diverse…oh my bad, I forgot, you don’t do African American either. Neither does MSNBC, FOX or CNBC…does anyone have room for black people in the media. When Cambell Brown left, I just knew you would put a black person in her slot, but you did not, instead you put in John King…Don’t get me wrong, I like John, but dang I would like to see more people the look like me reporting the news with there own show.

RK

June 30th, 2010
8:45 am

Does this count as another divorce? Here is the classic Larry-sleeping tape from years ago: http://gawker.com/5031481/the-long-lost-drunk-larry-king-tapes

k.l. smith

June 30th, 2010
8:58 am

Practice this Larry,Hello Welcome To Walmart!

Jake

June 30th, 2010
9:06 am

African American? What about just putting an American as his replacement. If your born in America or come to America legally, your an American.

TRUTH

June 30th, 2010
9:23 am

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZ

Diehard

June 30th, 2010
10:20 am

Good riddance – will they carry that tired old corpse out in a box? Or just incinerate him while a panel of funeral home directors discuss their relations with corpses?

Sharon

June 30th, 2010
10:45 am

Larry is 20 years late on this retirement–He lost it around that time

Davis

June 30th, 2010
12:12 pm

It amazes me, these people always talking about ‘African American’, I would venture to say, most could not even find Africa on the map. These sheep, just follow what the latest leader of the NAACP or SCLC dictate. When will they simply be AMERICANS and be grateful for it?

Dave

June 30th, 2010
12:31 pm

King is an idiot. He has great guests, but can only stick to his canned list of questions for the entire interview, often missing obvious and more interesting items to discuss. He never hears their answer to ask a logical follow-up based on the answer. Example:

King: How’s the new movie project going?
Celebrity: Ok, but I would rather talk about my upcoming murder trial.
King: How many hours a day to you spend on the set?

All of his interviews are like this. I can’t believe he’s lasted 25 years, I really can’t. This “loss” will be completely overhyped in the coming weeks/months.

TigerT

June 30th, 2010
12:45 pm

Davis, if everyone on TV were White what would say, I like to hear- Please reply.

TigerT

June 30th, 2010
12:50 pm

Davis, also if they were all Black what would you say, Why do you people like to lie about all subjects.

Davis

June 30th, 2010
12:56 pm

Again, your NAACP and SCLC ‘roots’ are showing, exactly who is “you people’????? Are we not ALL people?????

TigerT

June 30th, 2010
1:28 pm

Davis, When the playing field is level your point would mean somthing.
Until then?

NA

June 30th, 2010
1:47 pm

“Larry King Live”———– are you sure?
he hasn’t looked alive in some time.

teeia

June 30th, 2010
2:04 pm

Jeeeee-zus! You folks are amazing…I keep telling myself that I’ll eventually find an open blog on the AJC that doesn’t become about some kind of race issue, but today has just been discouraging. SMH, I love my people, but my people…

Davis

June 30th, 2010
2:23 pm

me thinks, someone doesn’t know level when they see it!, I guess it will only be when the NAACP and SCLC tells you it is…….

TigerT

June 30th, 2010
2:43 pm

So Davis you’re telling me that the playing field is level? How can it be? The NAACP and other groups were formed to create a level playing field which is yet to happen in America. What gets me is you people are all marching and campaining talking about you want your country back. When all in all you never lost it. What amazes me the most about you all is where in the Hell were you when Bush was destroying the country. I heard of no Tea Parties and no Town Hall meetings.

Helen

June 30th, 2010
8:21 pm

I apologize to Larry for all the “incoherent” and poorly written insults he has received…. Can’t believe that so many people behave this way…. Thank you, Larry, for giving us 25 years of “first-rate” entertainment!!

John P. Walker

July 1st, 2010
6:17 pm

It should have never lasted this long. The man never did a bit of show prep in his life, bragged about the fact, and it always came back to bite him in the ass. Some of the lamest horrible questions you ever heard. People didn’t go on Larrys show because he only threw softball questions. Chances are, if you were having negative press, Larry knew nothing about it. So the questions people would be itching to hear Larry ask are replaced by the dumbest questions. The last time I ever watched his show, he kept calling Denise Brown Nicole, her dead sisters name.

Brian Richard Allen

July 8th, 2010
9:36 am

Who’s Larry King?