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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Who should replace Larry King? Who deserves his or her own high-profile talk show?

Larry King Live is dead. Long live Larry King Live… without Larry King?

Larry King has announced that his long-running (25 years) talk show on CNN will end sometime this fall, because the 77-year-old wants to spend time with his kids going to their Little League games. Seriously. Most men of his age are going to the Little League games of their grandkids and greatgrandkids, but not King. And this is America: spending time with the kids you fathered in your late 60s with your eighth wife sounds better than “My rating are crap and I’m an old fart who’s out of touch, and if I couldn’t be bothered to prepare for my interviews a quarter of a century ago, I’m sure as hell not gonna start now.”

Hunter Walker at The Wrap got some reaction from CNN insiders:

Multiple network insiders told TheWrap that, with all of the problems with his ratings and his marriage, King had become a liability to the network. “Larry King leaving doesn’t worry anyone. What worries people is who replaces him,” one told TheWrap.

Dylan Stableford in another piece at The Wrap offers his own “shortlist of candidates” to replace King: Anderson Cooper, Joy Behar, Katie Couric, Piers Morgan, Ryan Seacrest, Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Glenn Beck, and Campbell Brown.

CNN is refusing so far to say anything about what will happen to its weeknight 9pm slot. Whatever sort of programming does end up there — and it seems likely that it will be another interview show like King’s — will follow the bizarre pairing of former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen Turner, who will host a new roundtable show at 8pm.

Who should replace Larry King? Who deserves his or her own high-profile talk show?

Someone like Jon Stewart, who could really bring the bullshit meter, would be great, but it’s hard to see him leaving Comedy Central… except his interviews will guests are frequently breaking out of the 10-minute slot The Daily Show allots, and the uncut versions he posts online are some of the hardest-hitting journalism happening today. Which is pathetic, that it’s the court jester who’s conducting them, but CNN would be lucky to get Stewart.

It would be nice if, whomever CNN chose to replace King, he or she was someone of substance, not someone of fluff.

What do you think?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • aquila6

    Anderson Cooper: Doesn’t he already have a show on CNN?

    Joy Behar: Shrill harpie who already has a show that no one watches.

    Katie Couric: Would go from bad (at CBS) to worse (at CNN).

    Piers Morgan: Who? (I know who he is. I just don’t see him interviewing anyone.)

    Ryan Seacrest: Please. Really?

    Bill Clinton: Yeah, I’m sure he’s going to commit to that sort of schedule. Besides, every interview would end up being about him.

    Jon Stewart: Has too cushy a deal at Comedy Central, where “Comedy” is intentional and not inadvertant like it is at CNN.

    Glenn Beck: As he has already identified CNN as part of the enemy, why would anyone think he would go work for them AGAIN (he was with CNN before FOX).

    Campbell Brown: Already got slaughtered in the ratings and lost her show — she won’t get what would amount to a promotion.

    How about Charlie Rose? I’d watch him — he knows how to give good interview.

  • yawp


    Joy Behar is among the reasons that Larry King’s ratings have been in rapid decline in recent months.

    Joy’s rapid rise in the ratings, and her ability to hold the audience that she has gained is one of the few bits of good news in the ratings for CNN and its subsidiary, HLN.

    For those more interested in excellent, in-depth interviews, Charlie Rose would be an excellent choice and a refreshing change from Larry King.

    Of course, one person who would bring a much needed perspective to the deafening white noise on CNN and some much needed diversity to the glaring omission on Mr. Stableford’s white list would be Tavis Smiley. Tavis brings so many interesting people to his audience’s attention who are otherwise overlooked and undiscovered in the echo chamber of modern, mass media. Between his radio show and his PBS show, Tavis succeeds in bringing something new and unexpected where others bore with the ordinary.

  • bronxbee

    Tavis Smiley is a very good interviewer… he’s seasoned enough to do a good show, and young enough to attract the big names. he’s also young enough to do the show for a few good years.

    However, I’d rather see Gwen Ifil fill such a position. and does it really need to be nightly? couldn’t something like this have more impact if it were on two or three nights a week? or even one?

  • Remy Michael

    As soon as I saw the title, before I even read your post I thought Jon Stewart would be perfect. He’s exactly what the legitimate interview circuit needs. Someone will always be able to take over The Daily Show.

  • AJS

    Maryann- could you possible mean Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker? Because I’d hate to have Kathleen Turner defamed by having her confused with Parker. :)

    I elect Tony Danza to fill the slot- I recall he had more hard hitting questions on his talk show than I every recall King asking. I wish Tom Snyder had been cloned, I still miss him.

  • No way! TV will never be the same again.
    No really, who was watching it? Not even my father anymore…

  • Lisa

    Piers Morgan used to edit a daily rag over in the UK – my old boss used to work for him.

    He does have his own interview show over here too. NBC, I hear, were going to pick up Life Stories. He’s known for getting good scoop out of people in GQ interviews and the like, but it is all a bit too choreographed and tabloidy whih is probably what they’re looking for.

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