Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Veteran broadcaster Larry King Hulus back to action
Internet » Interviewer takes his questions to the Internet.
First Published Aug 16 2012 05:31 pm • Last Updated Aug 16 2012 05:31 pm

Los Angeles • For Larry King, the death of Osama bin Laden provided an awakening.

The veteran talk-show host had been nudged toward the door by CNN in 2010 after 25 years of interviewing such titans as Frank Sinatra, Tom Cruise and Barack Obama. After that, King had been giving inspirational speeches in far-flung countries, doing an occasional stand-up comedy routine and taping a few TV specials for CNN. One was supposed to run on a Sunday in May 2011. King had dinner guests over that night for a viewing party.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Instead, CNN cut to live coverage following the Navy Seals’ deadly raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

"My first instinct was to run to CNN, to get on top of the story," King said last week during an interview at his Beverly Hills home. "And I missed that. Nothing beats being in the middle of the hunt, in the middle of the scene."

The event spurred the 78-year-old broadcaster back into action. A year ago, King entered a partnership with the world’s richest man, Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, who is bankrolling a new digital programming service called Ora TV. The venture currently produces just one program, "Larry King Now," which runs on Hulu, the popular online video service.

"This is a whole new world to me," King said. "I don’t do the Internet, and now suddenly I’m in the middle of this."

The new talk show, which launched last month, is a lot like the old one. The same slightly stooped guy with suspenders asks the same succinct questions of guests such as Seth MacFarlane, Oliver Stone and Matthew McConaughey.

But it feels a little different.

King spent his entire career on a schedule that unfolded with military precision: Awake at 6 a.m. A breakfast of Cheerios, blueberries, 2 percent milk and half a corn muffin, "burnt," at 8:45 a.m. When he hosted a radio talk show in Miami, it ran from 9 a.m. to noon. At CNN, he was in his seat in the network’s Sunset Boulevard studio for a live talk show that started promptly at 6 p.m. PT.

Now, people can catch his show on Hulu any time. He tapes interviews when guests are available, whether it is at 11 a.m. or 4 p.m. "Weird," King said. "But I guess that’s how the rest of the world works."


story continues below
story continues below

King, who started his radio show in 1957, already has earned the distinction of mastering radio and TV.

"I’ve broadcast in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s and now the 2010s — seven decades," King said. "How many people in broadcasting can say that? Vin Scully, yeah, he’s done it longer. But Cronkite was for six decades and Carson was for six."

Now, King could get new traction on the Internet, said Hulu’s senior vice president of content, Andy Forssell.

"Larry is relevant," Forssell said. "He’s pretty timeless and it’s all about the guests. There is no ambiguity, no mystery to solve, and that clarity works well on the Internet."

The first few "Larry King Now" interviews were conducted in King’s "trophy room," a memorabilia-laden library off the grand foyer of the Beverly Hills mansion he shares with his seventh wife, Shawn, and their two young sons.

Gone are the calls from viewers in Columbus, Ohio, or Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Instead, questions arrive via Twitter. Crew members can be heard chuckling off-camera. In one segment, the family’s King Charles Cavalier spaniel Biscuit landed a part — on Betty White’s lap. The actress stroked the dog until he became overwhelmed by the bright lights and attention.

This month, production of "Larry King Now" moved to a new studio in nearby Glendale, Calif. Shawn picked paint colors for the new set.

And now the man who spent decades trying to keep himself out of his questions, in an effort to focus the conversation on the guest, is trying to inject more of his personality and opinion into the show. "That’s expected on the Internet," King said.

The new forum has allowed the septuagenarian to air his disgust with aging — and his fear of death.

"I want to be you," King told McConaughey toward the end of an interview with the 42-year-old actor once branded the "sexiest man alive." McConaughey appeared amused. "I’d like to be cryonic’ed," he told White. "I’d like to be frozen." The 90-year-old actress looked horrified.

"Yeah, I’m afraid of death," King said during an interview at his home. "My father died at 47. I had a heart attack 25 years ago, I’ve had heart surgery. I think about dying almost every day."

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.