TCA: Larry King On CNN's Woes, State of TV News

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Los Angeles -- Former CNN host Larry King has a great deal of affection for the cable network he called home for 25 years, but acknowledges its middle-of-the-road approach in a politicized TV news era is a "difficult problem" to solve.

"The problem they face in this vituperative media society is on the left they have MSNBC, on the right they have Fox, and so what do they do trying to be in the middle?" King said at the TCA press tour here Tuesday. "If I were put in charge of programming at CNN, I don't know what I'd do."

King, who said he watches CNN and MSNBC regularly and a bit of Fox News in addition to reading five to six newspapers daily, praised CNN primetime hosts Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper and his replacement Piers Morgan.

"It's certainly very comfortable viewing," he said. "But in today's era of what's going on in this volatile media approach when you turn on Fox or MSNBC... it's very hard to be in the middle. I think it's a difficult problem."

Asked whether or not TV news is better off today than when he first started his career in broadcasting more than 50 years ago, King said he wasn't so sure.

"What we have now is more information readily available, but are we better served with 500 outlets? A lot of what now is get it on rather than get it right," he said. "The Murrows are few and far between."

King was at TCA to promote his new Ora.TV talk show Larry King Now, which is streaming on Hulu. He said he is again "doing what I love to do best" with the launch of the new show, and while he doesn't consider himself a technophile, he enjoys working with a new media platform.

"It's amazing all the things available to me. It makes me feel young again," he said.

While King says the setting of his new show, which shot the first few episodes in the trophy room of his Beverly Hills home (it will move to a studio in Glendale), is more comfortable than his old CNN set, the booking process for guests hasn't changed much.

Early guests have included actress Betty White, writer/producer Seth MacFarlane and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and King says "we haven't had any turn-downs [from potential guests] because it's the Internet."

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