As Larry King marks his 25th year on CNN next week, he’s facing some daunting questions, such as whether the network will renew his contract when it ends next year, reports Brian Stelter in the New York Times.
King is quickly becoming an emblem of another era in cable news, as his show has been eclipsed by competitors who are more partisan and whose higher ratings enable them to lure the day’s most prominent guests.
One recent example was last week’s sought-after interview with Senate candidate Rand Paul, who chose to be interviewed by King’s higher-rated rival, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
Meanwhile, CNN executives won’t say whether they’ll renew King’s contract when it expires next year, and many at the network believe it should have a succession plan for replacing the 76-year-old host.
While King’s ratings are 20% higher than those of his lead-in, Campbell Brown, he’s rated behind conservative Sean Hannity on Fox and Maddow, a liberal. His audience has dwindled to 725,000 viewers a night, half of the number who tuned in during the last presidential election.