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6 Nigerian Presenters Share How Larry King Helped Shape Their Career Choices & Style



Popular talk show host, Larry King, known for interviewing presidential candidates, scores of celebrities, athletes, movie stars and everyday people, passed-on on Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host, and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,” his production company Ora Media announced on King’s official Twitter.

“For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster. Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience. Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions. He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”

Larry King’s influence on the media landscape is undeniable. As news spread of his demise, these Nigerian presenters have paid rich tributes to the late anchor and his legacy, sharing how watching him helped shape their career choices and style.

Ojy Okpe

The media world has lost a legend. I remember the first time I saw Larry King, the iconic and longtime CNN host, in action. Seated across him in conversation was Al Pacino. This was particularly apt because I had just finished watching the “The Godfather” Trilogy.

It was so long ago, but I remember feeling so connected with Al Pacino during that interview because of Mr King’s soft and conversational interview style. Of course, his trademark suspenders which I saw as a fashion statement, also inspired me. This was an individual who marched to the beat of his own drum.

When I read the statement of this death which described Larry King as always having “viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programmes, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience” it immediately resonated. We have lost a true gem. May he Rest In Peace.

Bolanle Olukanni

My first introduction to interviewing was watching Larry King Live with my dad. Even as a young woman, I was enthralled by his ability to get honest and reflective answers from his interviewees. His interview style was second to none, combined with his ability to be gracious and to connect with people from across all walks of life. He inspired me to become a talk show host. There will never be another Larry King. He will surely be missed.

Stephanie Busari

Larry King was the king of interviewers. And a great interview is essential for any journalist. He was simply one of the world’s greatest interviewers. He taught me a lot about mastering your craft. He knew he wanted to be on the radio since he was 5 years old and practised in the bathroom. Overnight success is rarely that! It takes time and dedication and I learned that from watching Larry’s trajectory and career path. He’s a very simple interviewer and not afraid to ask a very simple question. They can often provide the most revealing responses.

I learned from him not to show off with the questions, we are not the experts as journalists, we are there to elicit information from those in the know, and Larry did that with great aplomb. He was a great listener and that’s is one of the hallmarks of a great interviewer. Listen to learn, not to respond. That way the conversation flows and your interviewee lets their guard down and you get quality information. It’s a cliche, but they really don’t make ’em like him anymore. Rest in peace Larry King, you were a legend.

Abang Mercy

Larry King was an enigma that influenced me, an entire generation, actually a century of people to want to watch television, work in television and be a part of television. He was a listener that allowed his guests their vulnerability without the place of judgement.

He defined television and was more interested in the human side of his guests instead of trying to get “sound bites” and viral content. He was interested in humans sharing their accounts and allowed the human touch in conversations – eye contacts, the right mannerism – and wasn’t interested in being the story while interviewing his guests nor was he interviewing guests to “shame them” but to show the human nature at its finest. Larry King was a legend and he defined broadcasting journalism beyond the TIMES.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

“Best interviewing advice I ever heard came from Larry King; ‘I always try to ask my questions in just one sentence. It’s never about me’.

That’s a tweet from me in 2014. Captured who he was. It was always about the interviewee for him and that’s who I keep striving to be. He was my one and only role model on television.

Osasu Igbinedion

Larry King was the epitome of professionalism. As a young girl (even before I recognised I had a potential career in journalism) I watched him exude sheer intellect and probity in all interviews he conducted. My journey as a Journalist and now Media Executive has definitely been shaped like veterans like Larry King. May his soul rest in peace.

1 Comment

  1. Sheke

    January 27, 2021 at 5:33 am

    Stephanie Busari is not a TV Presenter. At worst, you should have said Nigerian journalists

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