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Now that he’s off CNN’s airwaves, Larry King is going fully digital.
The 78-year-old veteran interviewer is launching a daily talk format similar to CNN’s Larry King Live and slated to stream on Ora.tv, a new internet TV network co-founded by King and Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim, it was announced Monday.
King departed CNN on amicable terms last month, thereby ending his duties hosting four specials per year for the cable channel. He retired from his own show in December 2010 and was replaced in the same role by Piers Morgan.
Slim ranks No. 1 on Bloomberg’s new list of the Top 20 global billionaires, with a fortune of $68.5 billion. According to the Times, Slim — an investor in the newspaper — will fund Ora.tv through his America Movil, the biggest wireless company in Latin America, where he’s also a leader in pay-TV for countries except Mexico. (Slim’s attempt to break into the TV market in his native country have been thwarted by regulators preventing from doing so because of competition concerns.)
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No launch date has been set for the New York-based operation but it’s expected to kick off later this year.
“I run into people everyday who tell me they miss my show. And a lot of times I miss it too,” King told The New York Times. A motivator in his departure from CNN was the opportunity to start Ora.tv, on which his wife, Shawn King, might also appear as a style-and-entertainment host.
Ora.tv’s ad-supported programming will be streamed on computers, phones, tablets and internet TVs; the company’s chief executive Jon Housman, who formerly headed digital journalism ventures at News Corporation, said talks were being held with potential distributors. In addition, the network is also talking with other on-air personalities to join King on the programming lineup. Several shows are in development and will be announced in the near future.
“Ora.TV represents a great opportunity,” Slim said in a statement. “The business model is sound and the team brings the talent and industry understanding that will help Ora stand out in digital television, a category which is primed for exponential growth.”
Internet TV is becoming a main priority as companies like Hulu. Netflix and Google’s YouTube rush to create original series. Amazon is also expected to jump on the bandwagon as more users consume content online.
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