Larry King, a man who has interviewed statesmen and stars at CNN for 25 years, but has faded in ratings and influence lately, has announced his retirement by the end of the year. “It’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders,” King said in a message sent to his fans on twitter. However, King said he will do occasional specials for CNN.
He marked his 25th anniversary on the air this month and takes pride in a Guinness Book of World Records citation for hosting the longest-running show on the same network in the same time zone. Notable among those identified as possible replacements include CBS news anchor Katie Couric, “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan although according to King, Ryan Seacrest would be the best choice.
King said he felt no pressure from CNN to leave. He said he began thinking about stepping down as his 25th anniversary week ended earlier this month, on the airplane home after interviewing basketball star Le Bron James. During that week, he also spoke to Bill Gates, President Barack Obama and Lady Gaga an apt example of the mix that he always sought on his show. King estimated he’s conducted some 50,000 interviews during a 53-year broadcasting career. He said he always tried to ask short questions and to never come in with an agenda. “I left my ego at the door,” he said