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How CNN Botched Larry King’s Exit From His Talk Show & Search For His Successor

Nellie Andreeva

CNN-logoFor someone who has been the face of the network for the past 25 years, you’d think CNN would have handled the departure of veteran Larry King with a little bit more dignity and respect. But a series of CNN blunders have surrounded both King’s exit from his talk show and the search for his successor. First, the network started feeling out potential replacements long before King announced on June 29th that he would be leaving the show in November. In theory, that’s larry-kingnot a bad idea — Larry King Live had been the cornerstone of CNN’s primetime lineup, and management had to secure a strong successor in the 9 PM slot before it let King step down. But it was also a very risky strategy as proven by the June 12th leaks in UK papers that America’ Got Talent judge Piers Morgan, a Brit, was finalizing a deal to replace King. It was a blow to Larry, who had just celebrated his 25th anniversary at CNN and deserved a proper send-off.

But there was more humiliation in store for the veteran talk-show host. Instead of organizing the piers morganannouncement of King’s exit in the two weeks following the first wave of Piers Morgan/CNN stories, the network waited until June 29th, the day the Q2 ratings come out. CNN knew they wouldn’t be pretty: King already … Read More »

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SURPRISE! CNN Talking To Joy Behar About Replacing Larry King

TV Behar HLN ShowA day after Larry King officially announced he will leave his CNN primetime talk show after 25 years, we hear the cable news network is in talks with Joy Behar to replace him. Behar has been one of the strongest internal candidates to succeed King. Her The Joy Behar Show on HLN (formerly known as CNN Headlline News and CNN2) has been the brightest spot on CNN’s mostly grim ratings report. It had the most growth of any primetime CNN show in Q2 among total viewers, up +39%. For comparison, CNN top anchor Anderson Cooper’s ratings were down -30%, King’s down -37%. Behar was also a regular fill-in for King on his show, a stint that led to her getting her own show on HLN.

A deal with Behar would go against King’s wishes. On his show last night, the veteran interviewer reiterated his support for Seacrest as his successor. “He’s curious, he’s interesting, he’s likable,” King said of the American Idol host. “If he has a great interest in politics, I would recommend him. But I’m sure there’s a ton of people who could do it. Come on, it’s Q&A.” Among those people is America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan who, according to British papers, had been in talks for King’s job. CBS Evening News host Katie Couric’s name also has been part of the mix, with conflicting reports on whether she is interested or not. … Read More »

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