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CNN's Legend Larry King to step down

New York: In the face of falling ratings, the CNN host Larry King announced on Tuesday evening, that he would end his long-running talk show, "Larry King Live," this fall.

Jonathan Klein, president of CNN's domestic channel, said that Mr. King, 76, was ending the show "on his own terms," just after his 25th anniversary. Mr. Klein said he would announce a new 9 pm program over the summer.

Mr. King will stay at CNN part time. In an announcement on his show, he said that he would host an undetermined number of specials "on major national and international subjects." "Larry King Live," the centerpiece of the CNN primetime schedule, has seen its ratings drop sharply in the recent years, particularly in the last six months, leading to widespread talk that Mr. King's current contract, which will expire in June 2011, could be his last. Asked by Bill Maher, his guest on his Tuesday night show, about the speculation in the media, Mr. King said "that had nothing to do with it." He said he approached CNN management about the change and they "graciously accepted."

It will give "more time for my wife and I to get to the kids' little league games," he said on his show. Mr. King and his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick, reunited in May after having filed for divorce a month earlier.

Presidents and CNN chiefs have come and gone since the talk show started at 1985. Mr. King noted that his show was recently recognized by the Guinness World Records as being the longest-running show with the same host in the same time slot.

"With this chapter closing, I'm looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it's time to hang up my nightly suspenders," he concluded in a blog post that he read on air.

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