Now that CNN has pulled the plug on Piers Morgan, who can the all-news network call upon to interview politicians and pop stars in prime time?
How about the guy who Morgan replaced?
That’s right: Larry King is still alive and well at 81 and get this: He’s interested in the gig.
If you recall, the news anchor had 25 years helming Larry King Live under his suspenders before he was removed from the post in 2010.
At the time, former CNN president Jonathan Klein made the decision to replace King with Morgan, a former British newspaperman whose sole American TV credits were winning Celebrity Apprentice and judge duty on America’s Got Talent.
Said Klein at the time: “What you needed to replace Larry King was someone who could interview presidents as well as pop stars. A lot of names popped up who could do one or the other, but very few could do both.”
But King knew how to do both. And he still does.
Currently, King hosts the daily half-hour Web program Larry King Now for Ora TV, an on-demand digital network founded by King and billionaire Carlos Slim in 2012.
King has an equity stake in Ora TV, but the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born newsman is willing to entertain offers to replace Morgan should current CNN president Jeff Zucker come calling.
“If he [Zucker] talked to the people at Ora TV and they could work it out, I would do it,” King told The Daily Beast yesterday.
King acknowledged that he was a hard act to follow.
“In truth, when someone is on the air for the amount of years I was on, whether it’s me or anyone, whoever replaces him, you don’t want to be the person who replaces him,” said King. “It’s very hard to step in – putting myself aside – into any shoes that have been there forever.”
King also pointed that he and Morgan were entirely opposite TV animals.
“We were very different styles. I asked shorter questions. I left myself out of it. Piers is more of an ‘I’ interview style.”
And while the odds of Larry King returning to full-time CNN duty are about as likely as Johnny Carson returning to The Tonight Show, the bespectacled newsman at least supplied another hiring suggestion to his former employer.
“I love Chris Cuomo,” said King, graciously giving a plug to the co-host of CNN’s recently installed New Day morning host. “I think he’s a prime-time talent, a very good interviewer, has a great manner, a beautiful voice and looks good – plus he’s young.”