comScore Greta Van Susteren Defends Larry King - CNN - Fox News

FNC’s Greta Van Susteren Jumps To Larry King’s Defense

The Associated Press’ David Bauder wrote a lengthy and biting article about the various ways Larry King‘s CNN show is “troubled” as the program approaches its 25th anniversary.

But since it has come out, a defense of King and his legacy has come from an unlikely source – Fox News host Greta Van Susteren.

Today on her blog, Gretawire, the 10pmET FNC host writes a post titled “I See Some Are Trashing Larry King.” Here’s part:

If CNN showcased Larry’s accomplishments (current and past), the current view of him by many would not exist. I appreciate Larry. Frankly, Larry’s success probably helped pay my salary and my staff when I was at CNN since his show made lots of money for CNN and funded just about everything there. Yes, in the old days, CNN stood solidly behind Larry and knew what he was doing for the network which is key to a show’s success…If you dispassionately step back and look at what Larry has done and continues to do without support, you might think differently. He has broken more news than anyone else in the business (of course journalists would never give him credit for that and instead try to pretend that he is simply a talking head.) It isn’t good luck – it was hard work.

Greta closes by saying she considers King “a friend” but that they haven’t spoken recently – and they obviously are former colleagues. But the defense, especially from a fellow journalist at a competing cable news network, is interesting and rare.

As for the content of Bauder’s piece, some of it revolved around whether King had lost a step or two as he has gotten older: “King’s simple, conversational style often annoys people who want interviews with more rigor and preparation.”

But the article also brought in King’s ratings, which have fallen off in a major way. The show was down 44% in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the previous year, and has less than half of the viewers it was getting when it reached its peak in 1998. Although Bauder brings in the ratings of King’s competitor, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, late in the piece, it is equally important to note her program is down 38% in the same time period year-to-year. King spokesperson Ryan Jimenez, also quoted in the piece, tweeted today, “AP and blogs make Larry King’s numbers a headline but bury or omit the fact that MSNBC’s Maddow is also down 38% , Q1. Fair?”

It’s hard to separate King’s poor first quarter and falling numbers from the rest of CNN’s ratings from the early evening and through prime time. The fact is, every program is down double digits. King’s contract is up next year around this time. Needless to say, this won’t be the last we hear about King’s future with CNN.

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