CNN has suffered a "precipitous decline in ratings" across the board, says the New York Times. But the news is particularly bad for Larry King, the network's longest running host, who suffered his worst quarter ever. Ratings for Larry King Live dropped 43 percent in the first quarter, and 52 percent in March alone. King's rivals in the 9pm slot all beat him during the past three months, with Fox's Sean Hannity bringing in almost four times as many viewers. After 25 years at the network, is it time to put the 76-year-old out to pasture?
The times demand more incisive interviews: King is "out of step with the times," says Thomas Lifson at American Thinker. He "never bothers to read an author's book, and specializes in softball questions." But America's "aroused citizenry" demands "tough questions" with the federal government seemingly intent upon "downsizing America's standing in the world." That's why they're switching to Fox.
"Liberal media death spiral intensifies"
His non-partisan approach still works: Viewers like King because of his traditional, no-nonsense approach, says Jon Klein, president of CNN, quoted at Daily Finance. Competitors like Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow have "moved to partisan extremes," which gives them a short-term boost. But the "big interviewers and the top newsmakers" still come to King's studio first. "We are proud of the work he does."
"Will plunging ratings hasten his retirement?"
King brings nothing to CNN, and he must go: The simple fact is King is not attracting eyeballs, says Adrian Chen at Gawker. "When will CNN realize this?" By refusing to do any research or ask penetrating questions, he exists simply as a "human wall" upon which "disgraced politicians and worthless celebrities" can project whatever they choose. His time's up.
"How long until CNN fires Larry King?