The last few weeks have seen a barrage of stories regarding the fate of CNN’s 9 p.m. host, Larry King. While the current wave of articles began with this New York Times story in late May, similar stories have been written about King’s fate going back as far as 2006 with this piece in the Wall Street Journal which just might give you a feeling of deja vu.
Today, New York Times media columnist David Carr weighs in with his take. Carr doesn’t break any news, but he does offer a suggestion to King and CNN:
There is another choice for CNN. Think of the hand-off from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams – graceful and profitable, with Mr. Brokaw continuing to show up doing work that interests him and Mr. Williams storming along in the ratings as the anointed heir.
Why not announce a yearlong victory lap for Mr. King? You could probably count on both Obamas, both Clintons, both George Bushes, both Martha and Jon Stewart, with maybe some Tiger, a little Oprah, all stopping by for some much deserved ring-kissing.
The 25th anniversary week proved that Mr. King can still move the ratings with aggressive booking, and meanwhile CNN could negotiate with Mr. King to free up some nights for a kind of bake-off, a rolling audition of hopefuls.
Carr also references the recent Helen Thomas fiasco, which saw the legendary columnist retiring suddenly after making controversial remarks about Jews and Israel. As Carr puts it: “The more legendary the talent, the more delicate the endgame.”
What do you think? Should Larry King take a year-long “victory lap” as Carr suggests? We have a poll waiting for you after the jump.