Larry King is stepping down from his long-time home as the anchor of CNN’s prime-time lineup.
CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein says in a memo that “Larry King Live” will end in the fall, with King going out “on his own terms.” Klein also notes that King isn’t retiring or leaving CNN: “Larry is a beloved member of the CNN family, and he will continue to contribute to our air with periodic specials,” the memo reads.
King will announce his departure on his show Tuesday night (June 29).
King had already had a long career in broadcasting when “Larry King Live” launched on CNN in June 1985. It has aired in the 9 p.m. ET timeslot for its entire run; no other talk show has kept the same host and the same time period for as long.
There has been speculation in recent weeks that CNN was looking to remake its prime-time lineup, which has suffered in the ratings of late. The network has already announced an 8 p.m. show with former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker starting in the fall, and “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan has been rumored as a possible replacement for King. Ryan Seacrest, who has guest-hosted “LKL” a number of times, has also been mentioned in the past.
Here is King’s statement about the show ending:
“Before I start the show tonight, I want to share some personal news with you. Twenty-five years ago, I sat across this table from New York Governor Mario Cuomo for the first broadcast of ‘Larry King Live.’ Now, decades later, I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end ‘Larry King Live,’ the nightly show, this fall, and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ Little League games. I’ll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects.
“I’m incredibly proud that we recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest-running show with the same host in the same timeslot. With this chapter closing, I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders.”