Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Did Larry King Jump Or Was He Pushed?
Larry King shocked no one last night in announcing he was throwing in the towel as host of CNN's Larry King Live.
The ratings did him in.
In the last year CNN's prime time ratings have sagged with King off by 37 per cent from his numbers a year ago --he's now averaging a paltry 677,000 viewers a night.
This means decreased revenues for the cable news network which is heavily dependent on advertising for its profitability.
And let's face it age --he's 76 --and bad health also did the veteran in.
In the past year Larry has resembled a hoot owl, shrunk up, barely comprehening his guests at times and certainly no longer cutting edge.
My sources are saying King was told by CNN to set a retirement date and stick to it.
Look, on TV everybody gets cancelled, it's only a question of when. It took Gunsmoke 19 years to get cancelled by CBS.
Oprah Winfrey has cancelled herself at season's end --she decided to go with dignity rather than wait for the public to desert
I only met with King once on the TV critic's tours.
He was ridding high in the early 1980s and was mighty pleased with himself that day.
He boasted he never did any preparation for his nightly show and sometimes that was painfully apparent. But King had all those decades as a radio talk show guy behind him and he always made his guests look great.
As long as he got the big names nobody at CNN cared and he even was on in weekend editions. But fights with diabetes and heart ailments severely sapped his strength.
Recently some of the biggest stars have preferred Diane Sawyer or Oprah when it came to hawking their wares --a new movie or tell-all book. Even the politicians stopped coming by like they used to.
And let's not forget his busy personal life which certainly reduced his standing among many viewers.
Successors are rumored to be one of the following: CBS anchor Katie Couric, Ryan Seacrest, British TV personality Piers Morgan or even Joy Behar, the one CNN star whose ratings are actually increasing.