Christiane Amanpour says she’s “wistful” about her former CNN-mate Larry King‘s imminent exit from the cable news network’s weeknight lineup.
Now at ABC News, where she debuts as the new anchor of the Sunday-morning program “This Week” in August, the much-honored journalist tells Zap2it she considers King “the closest to a modern media institution that exists in the world right now. He has defined that kind of interviewing, not just for the United States, but for the global CNN audience as well.
“He has been part of the historic dialogue for the past 25 years,” Amanpour adds. “Throughout my career as a foreign correspondent, most dramatically with the first Gulf War — which is where CNN itself exploded significantly into the world’s consciousness — I can remember being at the end of an IFB (a newsperson’s earpiece) on Larry’s show, listening to real-time diplomacy being conducted, whether between Washington and Moscow or Iraq and the United Nations.
“These vital negotiations were going on, and some of the most significant policy-making was taking place live on CNN … and much of it on ‘Larry King Live.’ I appreciate and value that role he’s played, not just for CNN, but for our world. I believe strongly that his shoes will be enormously difficult to fill.”
Amanpour occasionally “attempted,” using her word, to guest-host King’s program. She won’t say whether she might have entertained becoming his successor permanently, had the path gone differently for her this year: “You know what? There are so many ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’s.’ I don’t go there.”
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