CNN Host Larry King
It's official: After 25 years as a staple of
His exit, which has been expected for some time, puts speculation on his replacement -- already a hot topic in news circles -- into overdrive.
Among the names most frequently mentioned: "America's Got Talent" judge
Also cited is
Then there's the possibility of
In regards to King's replacement,
King announced his exit via Twitter. Timing of the announcement was a surprise, but the news wasn't. As King celebrates his 25th year at
"Larry King Live" once regularly attracted more than a million viewers; this year, the telecast has clocked in at closer to 700,000. The show was down 43% in the first quarter of 2010, averaging its smallest audience to date.
News for "Larry King Live" was slightly better in June, growing by 28% in the key 25-54 demo thanks to interviews with newsmakers like Lady Gaga.
But a recent star-studded telethon to help support efforts in the Gulf attracted just 600,000 viewers.
Opening his show Tuesday night, King said
King said he'll continue to host regular specials on "major national and international subjects."
"I'm incredibly proud that we recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same timeslot," King said. "With this chapter closing I'm looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it's time to hang up my nightly suspenders."
CNN U.S. topper
"Anyone who ever mattered has sat for an interview on Larry's iconic set," Klein wrote in a memo to staffers. "They all know the man it is our privilege to call our colleague and friend -- tireless and curious, respectful and inquisitive, caring, generous, influential, a citizen of the world.
"We will celebrate his tenure in proper fashion over the coming months."
In a statement,
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