The End of an Era: No More Larry King Live

The End of an Era: No More Larry King Live

"If it was up to me Ryan Seacrest would do it."

INSIDE EDITION caught up with the TV legend, Larry King,  just minutes after he choked up on air announcing that he's leaving his long running TV show.  

"Before I start the show tonight I want to share some personal news with you.  I've talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I'd like to end Larry King Live," King said on his TV show.

Shortly after, King told reporters, "Bittersweet, it was my decision and I'm glad I made it.  It was hard to talk to the staff and I know down the road I'm going to miss it."
Several big name TV personalities ranging from Seacrest to Piers Morgan are now being named as possible replacements.

"CNN has been taking a beating in the primetime ratings and so obviously the network wants to get somebody who's got enough pizzazz, enough star power, and maybe enough name recognition to be a successor to Larry and draw some of that audience back," CNN's Howard Kurtz said.

"I'm looking forward to the future, what my next chapter will bring.  But for now, for here, it's time to hang up the nightly suspenders," King said on his show.

It was a night filled with touching tributes to King.  His close friend, Bill Maher, was at his side for support and he got heartwarming phone calls from Regis Philbin, Diane Sawyer and a frail-sounding former first lady, Nancy Reagan.

"You didn't call me and ask my permission!  Lots of luck Larry, and I'll miss you," Reagan told Larry King.

Howard Kurtz said, "With a 25th anniversary he told me here he was talking to President Obama and Lady Gaga and Bill Gates and he said, 'How do I really top this?' So I think he got a sense after a quarter century that he's 76-years-old, that he's made all the history he's gonna make, and it was time for him to move on."

King says he's looking forward to spending more time with his two sons and his wife Shawn.  The couple has reconciled after unflattering headlines about their marriage in April.  And though he's stepping down, Larry King promises he's not leaving TV.

King told reporters, "I'll do many specials for CNN, I wanna do some sports, I'd like to do things that I haven't been able to do.  But now, I'm free to do them.  Free is a nice feeling."