He's so ubiquitous, it's easy to take Larry King for granted. He was the king of late night radio for years, then held down Larry King Live for 25 years at CNN. All of that coming after the first stage of his career blew up after an arrest in the early 70s. The charges were dismissed in a few months, but he had to rebuild everything.
In November, King turns 80, but you wouldn't know it to watch his new show, Larry King Now, on Hulu, which is produced by Ora TV, the production company he owns with Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim.
I asked how the web-only show on Hulu feels different. "Well, this is much more relaxed," he said. "The setting is different, it's not as kinetic. It's less newsy. But it comes down to: the delivery system is different, but I'm doing what I did years ago, which is who, what, where, when, why. I thought I could retire, and that was a mistake, but I lucked into this, and am very happy doing it."
King had established a friendship with Carlos Slim before his show ended on CNN, and during a visit, Slim told him he should come out of retirement. So, the billionaire is now the bank for Ora TV, and while King says the production company - in which he holds a 20% share - is in daily contact with Mexico, he says Slim is hands-off.
Does he miss anything from CNN? Yes, the breaking news. He tapes Larry King Now for broadcast throughout the week - the shows post at 2pm PST Monday-Thursday on Hulu and Ora TV. So when Osama Bin laden was killed, King says his first instinct was to run into the studio and go live. He couldn't, of course. But, he says, he does not miss the tabloid stuff he was obliged to do at CNN.
Special thanks to Ora TV for shooting and editing our Larry King interview on the set of Larry King Now.