With his ratings plummeting, Larry King’s retirement from his CNN show was seen as a jump-before-getting-pushed move. In a prime-time talk atmosphere dominated by political debate, King’s fluffy Q&As with the likes of Jessica Simpson seemed out of place. It didn’t help that his kind of softball-talk TV, once ruled by the likes of Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin, has become mostly a gal’s game. Katie Couric reportedly turned down an offer to succeed King; next up, Joy Behar?
Forbes estimate of Ryan Seacrest’s annual income.
Forbes estimate of Larry King’s annual income.
Forbes estimate of Ellen DeGeneres’s annual income.
Forbes estimate of Oprah Winfrey’s annual income.
King’s average number of nightly viewers in May 2010.
King’s average number of nightly viewers in his peak year, 2003.
King’s average number of nightly viewers, 2009.
Average audience for The Ellen DeGeneres Show for the week ending June 20.
Average audience for Live With Regis and Kelly for the week ending June 20.
Average audience for The Oprah Winfrey Show for the week ending June 20.
“If it was up to me, I’d have Ryan Seacrest do it.”
—Larry King on whom he’d pick to succeed him
“I’ve never done it, never gone searching. What, do you punch little buttons and things?”
—Larry King confessing to guest Roseanne Barr that he’d never used the Internet, November 14, 2006
“I just fed my dog and on the dog-food bag it says ‘DELICIOUS!’ How do they know?”
—one of Larry King’s 1,300-plus musings on his @kingsthings Twitter feed
1933: Born Larry Zeiger, in Brooklyn.
1952: Marries first wife.
1957: Makes broadcast debut at WAHR in Miami as D.J. and sports talk-show host.
1958: Moves to Miami’s WKAT; invents wacky character “Captain Wainright of the Miami State Police.”
1960: Marries second wife.
1963: Marries (and divorces) third wife.
1963: Marries fourth wife.
1967: Remarries fourth wife, whom he’d divorced in 1966.
1971: Accused of stealing $5,000 from a business partner (charges are dropped).
1974: Takes PR gig at Shreveport, Louisiana, racetrack while reviving career after legal trouble.
1976: Marries fifth wife.
1978: Debuts “The Larry King Show” on radio.
1985: Debuts Larry King Live on CNN.
1989: Marries sixth wife.
1997: Marries seventh wife.
2010: Separates from seventh wife amid rumors he slept with her sister.