In all the Larry King–Piers Morgan news this week, there was this gem from Forbes’ Lacey Rose who talked with King as he promoted his new association with the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company. What’s King say about his favorite to succeed him: “The camera just likes Ryan.” And the guy who probably will succeed him:
Like you, many U.S. viewers don’t know who [Piers Morgan] is.
Most Americans wouldn’t unless you watch America’s Got Talent. And if you watch that, you only know him as a judge. You don’t know him as a host.
Should that concern CNN?
Well, CNN should think about it as to how you promote it. [Another Brit, journalist] David Frost knows as much about American politics as he does anything. I’ve spent a lot of time with him and I know he knows everything about America. Assuming this guy does too, he’ll be accepted quickly. British talent gets pretty much accepted here. It’s the mother country. If that’s not his cup of tea, then he’s going to do more personality interviews – and I think he knows a lot about personalities. But again, other than being a guest on my show, I’ve never watched America’s Got Talent and I don’t know if I’d recognize him if he was walking down the street.
That’s not something Americans could say about Ryan Seacrest, the man you’ve said you’d like to replace you. What makes Seacrest a good fit?
He’s my favorite. It’s subjective because he’s my friend, but I think he’d be immediately accepted.
What does Seacrest have that perhaps that the others don’t?
The camera likes him and he’s a great generalist. I don’t know if he has a great interest in politics — I haven’t talked to him about that. But if he does, I’d pick him in a minute because an accepted major personality can move right in. You can move Anderson Cooper to 9 o’clock. Katie Couric could work. She doesn’t have to prove herself. You donâ€™t have to say, ‘Here’s who I am.’
And Ryan Seacrest has what you can’t buy: you like him. What we’d all like to do is shake everybody out there and say, ‘like me.’ Every day that Burt Reynolds was on a movie set, he’d walk over to the camera and whisper to the camera, ‘Like me. Like me.’ The camera just likes Ryan.