Larry King tells me that CNN is making him go on tonight with his successor Piers Morgan. I ran into Larry on Monday having a holiday lunch with the radio legend Norm Pattiz, chairman emeritus of Westwood One Radio, at the famed Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. They are cooking up something big for Larry, which is great: there was nothing better than listening to the King on radio in the old days, interviewing and giving opinions. If he came back, he’d be bigger than ever.
But forcing Larry to appear with his replacement? Apparently, he’s still under contract with CNN and pretty much can’t turn down what they ask him to do. So he will appear tonight for one half hour, thirty minutes, and deal with Piers Morgan. Why? Because Larry made a comment recently that “Piers Morgan was oversold.” Now he’s going to go back to his old studio and explain himself. The explanation? That CNN over hyped someone the American public knew little about. That Morgan should have been allowed to attract an audience on his merits, not by dint of constant pr and ads.
Larry has nothing against Piers Morgan. But I do think Morgan, who is obviously very talented, comes across on CNN a little like FM radio. Where Larry barked, Piers soothes. I watched his recent interview with Janet Jackson, but it was difficult: Janet speaks in a whisper, like Jackie Kennedy or Marilyn Monroe. Piers’s voice is like Celestial Seasonings. I went through two cappuccinos during the hour. If only someone from Altoona had called in!