CNN's Larry King exits after 25 years

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NEW YORK. December 17. KAZINFORM Marking the occasion with bright red suspenders, TV host Larry King pulled the curtain down on his CNN talk show on Thursday after 25 years; Kazinform refers to China Daily.

King, 77, said this summer he would leave. Once the dominant voice on cable television news, King has faded in a sea of sharp talkers. British talk-show host and "America's Got Talent" judge Piers Morgan takes over the 9 pm Eastern (0200 GMT) time slot in January.

"Good evening, and welcome to the last 'Larry King Live,"' he said as the show opened Thursday. "It's hard to say that. I knew this day was coming. These words are not easy to say."

He was joined at his table by Ryan Seacrest and Bill Maher, who have both filled in for King during breaks in the past. The first guest, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, declared it "Larry King Day" in his state and thanked King for doing his show from Los Angeles.

Maher tried not to let the show quickly become maudlin.

"This is not Larry's funeral," he said. "He's hopefully going to be in our living rooms for a lot of years to come. This is the end of a show, not the end of a man."

King has conducted some 50,000 interviews in a broadcasting career where he worked for decades in radio before joining CNN in 1985. He's recorded more than 6,000 shows for CNN.

Before Fox News Channel and MSNBC even existed, King was cable news' top-rated program. Politicians, entertainers, leaders of industry and the faces of news stories hot in the moment all sat across the table from King. Some critics said he often seemed ill-prepared and asked soft questions, while King described his style as "minimalist," with the goal of getting his guests to talk; Kazinform cites China Daily.

See www.chinadaily.com.cn for full version

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