The move keeps network talk-radio's founder on the air- waves after months of speculation he would leave the medium when his Westwood One contract for "The Larry King Show" expires in October. Instead, it is being replaced today by the "Larry King Live" simulcast from 9 to 10 p.m. ET Monday to Friday.
Bringing "Larry King Live" to radio is expected to pull up Mr. King's radio ratings substantially by giving listeners access to top political and entertainment guests, while bringing in non-cable TV subscribers.
"The CNN-Westwood One simulcast of `Larry King Live' will make it possible for people all over the U.S. to hear a show ... available in 65% of all homes" through cable TV, Mr. King said.
Westwood expects the radio portion of the simulcast to eventually air in more than the 300 markets that carried "The Larry King Show."
"I think it's a brilliant move," said Michael Harrison, editor and publisher of Talkers Magazine. "It provides a smooth transition out of a situation that could have been embarrassing" to Westwood One.
Mr. King, 60, was contemplating whether to continue the radio show, whose ratings were disappointing since it moved to daytime from late night last year. The show earned a 0.3 rating among 25-to-54-year-olds in the new time, after earning 0.5 in the late-night slot.
"We hope we will be able to attract new advertisers," said Greg Batusic, president, Westwood One Entertainment Division.
The show will offer 6 minutes of national time for advertisers, with 8 minutes for local sales.
A 30-second spot on the former radio show cost $500, while rates for the new show will be determined by ratings.
Mr. Batusic declined to name potential advertisers, but industry observers expect Westwood will target marketers that already advertise on "Larry King Live."