Brooklyn Boy’s Life in Broadcasting

(L to R) Leon Harris and Larry King

(L to R) Leon Harris and Larry King

Having the curious mind of a journalist, I was excited to be invited to a private event at the Newseum featuring legendary broadcaster Larry King and hearing his view of decades in the industry. Leon Harris, a news anchor for ABC-7/WJLA-TV, was the moderator for the evening. The event began with a video retrospective of King’s career and footage from some of his most famous interviews. King walked on stage and as he sat down and took off his jacket the first thing you noticed were a pair of suspenders synonymous with him and a RCA Type 77 series microphone in the center of the table. King told us a story about how as a little boy he would attend baseball games and as he sat way up in the stands he would broadcast play-by-plays of the games to himself. He’s known of course as a seasoned and respected interviewer, but I was surprised to discover that King’s also a master storyteller and comedian. He shared about his journey as a radio talk show host in Miami Beach, then as a talk show host in television (his show ‘Larry King Live’ became the first international TV call-in show) and now his current job as host of the online show ‘Larry King Now’ on Hulu. It’s a challenge to remain relevant and survive in the business in just one of those forms of media — to have successfully transitioned through all of them and still be going strong is amazing. King showed us the flip phone that he won’t part with and said that he keeps up with social media dictating his Tweets. He has become an icon in broadcasting, but to himself, King will always be a Brooklyn boy grounded by his humble roots.

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