Larry King dies after getting COVID-19; influential talk show host was 87

January 23, 2021

by John Larson

Larry King, who was best known for hosting the talk show “Larry King Live” on CNN, died at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, on January 23, 2021. He was 87. King was being treated for COVID-19 for the past several weeks.* His death was announced on Twitter by his company Ora Media. Before coming down with COVID-19, King had had several other health issues over the years, including heart attacks, diabetes and lung cancer.

King was a longtime host in radio and television. He reached his greatest fame as the host of CNN’s “Larry King Live” from 1985 to 2010. The show featured a wide variety of guests, including famous entertainers, politicians, business leaders and non-famous people. There are very few celebrities in King’s era whom he didn’t interview. After leaving CNN, King founded Ora Media and hosted a self-titled talk show on the Internet. Jimmy Kimmel, Oprah Winfrey, Piers Morgan (who briefly replaced King on CNN) and Craig Ferguson are among the entertainers who have cited King as a major influence in being a talk show host.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 19, 1933, King was one of two children of restaurant owner/defense-plant worker Aaron Zeiger and garment worker Jennie (Gitlitz) Zeiger, who emigrated to the United States from Belarus. King started his broadcasting career in radio and eventually had a nationally syndicated radio talk show called “The Larry King Show,” which could be heard on Mutual Broadcasting from 1978 to 1985. He left the show to host “Larry King Live” on CNN.

King had a chaotic personal life, with seven wives. His first marriage was annulled, and his next five marriages ended in divorce. His estranged seventh wife, Shawn King (formerly known as singer/actress Shawn Southwick), whom Larry married in 1997, had an on-again/off-again relationship with him. The estranged couple first filed for divorce in 2010, but cancelled those legal proceedings. Larry filed for divorce from her in 2019, but the divorce was never finalized at the time of his death.

Larry is survived by his sons Chance and Cannon (from his marriage to Shawn) and his son Larry Jr., whose mother was King’s second ex-wife Annette Kaye.

The King family has had several tragic deaths within a short period of time. In July 2020, Larry’s son Andy passed away of a heart attack age 65. In August 2020, his 51-year-old daughter Chaia died of lung cancer.

*January 27, 2021 UPDATE: In an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Shawn King said that Larry King died of sepsis, an infection complication that he got after he recovered from COVID-19.

2018 CMA Awards: broadcast winners announced

October 15, 2018

The following is a press release from the Country Music Association:

Two-time CMA Awards winner and a three-time CMA Awards nominee this year, Jason Aldean surprised radio stations and broadcast personalities this morning to reveal news of their 2018 CMA Broadcast Awards wins, announced in advance of the award show and presentation.

Listen to Aldean surprise “Country Countdown USA’s” nationally syndicated personality Lon Helton with the news of his win here. Aldean’s tourmate Luke Combs happened to be in studio and shared a moment from their time on the road together. See below for the full list of 2018 CMA Broadcast Awards winners.

Winners will be recognized at “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards,” Country Music’s Biggest Night, airing live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Wednesday, November 14 at 8/7c on the ABC Television Network.

Broadcast Personality of the Year

Lon Helton (Photo courtesy of Westwood One)


“American Country Countdown” (Kix Brooks) –Westwood One
“Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40” (Bob Kingsley) – Westwood One
“Country Countdown USA” (Lon Helton) – Westwood One*
“The Mayor of Music Row” (Charlie Monk) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio
“The Music Row Happy Hour” (Buzz Brainard) – Sirius XM Satellite Radio


Major Market

Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway of “Bud and Broadway” (Photo courtesy of WIL)

“Bud and Broadway” (Bud Ford, Jerry Broadway, Kelly Rebal, “Captain Mac Douglas” Gregory Paul Ford, “T.Wall” Tom Wall, and “Sweet Becca” Walls) – WIL St. Louis, MO*
“Double-L” (Lois Lewis) – KNIX Phoenix, AZ
“Hawkeye in the Morning” (“Hawkeye” Mark Louis Rybczyk, Jasmine Sadry, and “Connected K” Katelyn Maida) – KSCS Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
“KYGO Morning Show” (Tracy Dixon, Guy David, and Patrick Knight) – KYGO Denver-Boulder, CO
“Tim, Ben and Brooke” (Tim Hattrick, Ben Campbell, and Brooke Hoover) – KNIX Phoenix, AZ

Large Market

Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt and Kevin Freeman of “Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Photo courtesy of WFMS)

“Jim, Deb & Kevin” (Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt, and Kevin Freeman) – WFMS Indianapolis, IN*
“Obie & Ashley in the Morning” (Obie Diaz and Ashley Stegbauer) – WWKA Orlando, FL
“Q Morning Crew” (Mike Wheless and Janie Carothers) – WQDR Raleigh-Durham, NC
“The Randy, Jamie, and Jojo Show” (Randy Carroll, Jamie Martin, and Jojo Meza) – KAJA San Antonio, TX
“Ridder, Scott and Shannen” (“Ridder” Shaun Ridderbush, Scott Dolphin, and Shannen Oesterreich) – WMIL Milwaukee-Racine, WI

Medium Market

Ken Hicks, Kelley Bradshaw, and Daniel Wyatt of “Ken, Kelley and Daniel” (Photo courtesy of WUSY)

“The 97.5 WPCV Breakfast Club” (Roger Todd, “Julie K.” Kansy, and “D.J. Thee Trucker” Dale Sellers) – WPCV Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
Brent Michaels – KUZZ Bakersfield, CA
“Ken, Kelley, and Daniel” (Ken Hicks, Kelley Bradshaw, and Daniel Wyatt) – WUSY Chattanooga, TN*
“The Odd Squad” (Roger Rhodes, Robyn Adair, and Dan Carson) – CKRY Calgary, AB
“Scott and Sarah in the Morning” (Scott Wynn and Sarah Kay) – WQMX Akron, OH

Small Market

Jessica Cash and Steve Waters of “Steve and Jessica in the Mornings” (Photo courtesy of WFLS)

“Barrett, Fox & Berry” (Bill Barrett, Tim Fox, and Tracy Berry) – KKNU Eugene-Springfield, OR
“The Cat Pak Morning Show” (Brent Lane and Candy Cullerton) – WYCT Pensacola, FL
“The Eddie Foxx Show” (Eddie Foxx and Sharon Green) – WKSF Asheville, NC
“The Good Morning Guys” (Todd Harding, Susan Moore, and Brian Gary) – KUAD Ft. Collins-Greeley, CO
“Steve and Jessica Mornings” (Steve Waters and Jessica Cash) – WFLS Fredericksburg, VA*

Radio Station of the Year

Major Market
KKBQ Houston-Galveston, TX*
KNIX Phoenix, AZ
KUPL Portland, OR
WKKT Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
WSOC Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC

Large Market
KCYY San Antonio, TX
KUBL Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo, UT
WQIK Jacksonville, FL
WUBE Cincinnati, OH*
WWKA Orlando, FL

Medium Market
KUZZ Bakersfield, CA
WBBS Syracuse, NY
WHKO Dayton, OH
WUSY Chattanooga, TN*
WYRK Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY

Small Market
KCLR Columbia, MO
KKNU Eugene-Springfield, OR
KTTS Springfield, MO*
WCOW La Crosse, WI
WKSF Asheville, NC

2018 Stagecoach Festival: SiriusXM has live broadcasting for the first time

April 26, 2018


The following is a press release from SiriusXM:

SiriusXM announced that for the first time it will broadcast live performances and backstage interviews from the prestigious Stagecoach Country Music Festival located in Indio, California. The exclusive radio broadcast will air on The Highway – Channel 56, and will include backstage interviews and live concert performances from Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Brett Young, Lee Brice, and more.

 SiriusXM also announced that it will debut the SiriusXM Spotlight Stage, a special Stagecoach stage highlighting up-and-coming artists including Highway Find artists Carly PearceAshley McBryde, Adam Doleac, Seth Ennis, and numerous others. 
In addition to all the official festival activities, a special edition of SiriusXM’s ‘Music Row Happy Hour’ hosted by Buzz Brainard, will air live from Stagecoach on Friday, April 27.
“SiriusXM is proud to bring California’s country music festival to all of North America,” said Steve Blatter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Music Programming for SiriusXM. “We know our listeners will appreciate hearing both the established artists on the main stages and all the emerging artists on the SiriusXM Spotlight Stage. We’re also thrilled to originate our Music Row Happy Hour live from the festival.”
SiriusXM’s Stagecoach Country Music Festival broadcast begins on Friday, April 27 at 12:00 pm PT through Sunday, April 29 and features continuous coverage of the three-day outdoor country music festival with live performances, artist interviews and commentary from backstage. Select performance highlights and interviews, including Dwight Yoakam, will also air later on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country, channel 60. SiriusXM will continuously play the music of both emerging and established artists throughout the weekend-long festival and will air the previous day’s highlights.

SiriusXM subscribers are able to listen to The Highway, channel 56, on SiriusXM radios, and those with streaming access can listen online, on-the-go with the SiriusXM mobile app and at home on a wide variety of connected devices including smart TVs, Amazon Alexa devices, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Sonos speakers and more. Go to to learn more.

About SiriusXM

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the world’s largest radio company measured by revenue and has approximately 33.1 million subscribers. SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; exclusive talk and entertainment, and a wide-range of Latin music, sports and talk programming. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company and on smartphones and other connected devices as well as online at SiriusXM radios and accessories are available from retailers nationwide and online at SiriusXM. SiriusXM also provides premium traffic, weather, data and information services for subscribers through SiriusXM Traffic™, SiriusXM Travel Link, NavTraffic®, NavWeather™. SiriusXM delivers weather, data and information services to aircraft and boats through SiriusXM Aviation™ and SiriusXM Marine™. In addition, SiriusXM Music for Business provides commercial-free music to a variety of businesses. SiriusXM holds a minority interest in SiriusXM Canada which has approximately 2.6 million subscribers. SiriusXM is also a leading provider of connected vehicles services, giving customers access to a suite of safety, security, and convenience services including automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery assistance, enhanced roadside assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

Harris Poll’s 2017 EquiTrend Study ranks top TV and radio brands of the year

April 19, 2017

The Harris Poll’s 29th annual EquiTrend Study reveals 2017’s strongest brands across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant, technology, household and nonprofit industries, based on consumer response.

Measuring brand health over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors—Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration—that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. According to a Harris Poll press release, the brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands across more than 450 categories.

Here are the top-ranking brands in the TV and radio industry:

Factual Entertainment TV Brand of the Year

History Channel television network

  1. History Channel
  2. Discovery Channel
  3. ID (Investigation Discovery) Television Network
  4. National Geographic Channel
  5. HGTV Television Network (Home & Garden Television)
  6. Nat Geo WILD Television Network
  7. Crime & Investigation Television Network
  8. Food Network Television Network
  9. Discovery Life Channel
Other Factual Entertainment TV brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): American Heroes Channel, Animal Planet Television Network, Destination America Television Network, Discovery (en Espanol) Television Network, Discovery Fit & Health Television Network, H2 Television Network, History en Espanol, Military History Channel, Science Television Network, TLC Television Network, Travel Channel, truTV Television Network, Velocity Television Network, Viceland Channel

General Entertainment TV Brand of the Year

  1. FX Television Network
  2. A&E Television Network
  3. AMC Television Network (American Movie Classics)
  4. TNT Television Network (Turner Network Television)
  5. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  6. USA Television Network
  7. ABC Family Television Network
  8. BBC America Television Network
  9. TBS Television Network
  10. Hallmark Channel
  11. LMN Television Network (Lifetime Movie Network)
  12. TV Land Television Network
  13. Comedy Central Television Network
  14. Syfy Television Network
Other General Entertainment TV brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Adult Swim Television Network, BET Television Network (Black Entertainment Television), Bravo Television Network, E! Entertainment Television Network, FYI Television Network, Lifetime Television Network, Logo Television Network, Nick at Nite Television Network, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Oxygen Television Network, Spike Television Network, Telemundo Television Network, Univision Television Network, WE Television Network (Women’s Entertainment)

Internet Radio Service Brand of the Year

  1. Pandora Internet Radio
  2. iTunes
  3. Amazon Music with Prime Music
  4. Spotify Radio
Other Internet Radio Service brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Apple Music, iHeartRadio, NPR Music, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Slacker Radio, TuneIn

Kids’ TV Brand of the Year

  1. Discovery Family Channel
  2. Disney Channel
  3. Sprout Network
  4. PBS KIDS Television Network
  5. Cartoon Network
Other Kids’ TV brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Boomerang Television Network, Disney Junior Television Network, Disney XD Television Network, Nick Jr. Television Network, Nickelodeon Television Network, Nicktoons Television Network, TeenNick Television Network

Music TV Brand of the Year

  1. Great American Country (GAC)
  2. CMT Network (Country Music Television)
Other Music TV brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): MTV Television Network, VH1 Television Network

Pay Cable TV Network Brand of the Year

  1. HBO Television Network
Other Pay Cable TV Network brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Cinemax Television Network, Showtime Television Network, Starz Television Network

Sports TV Brand of the Year

  1. NFL Red Zone Television Network
  2. ESPN Television Network
  3. Fox Sports 1
  4. NBC Sports Television Network
Other Sports TV brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): CBS Sports Television Network, Fox Sports News Channel, MLB Television Network, NBA Television Network, NFL Television Network, NHL Television Network, The Golf Channel Television Network, Yes Television Network

TV & Internet Provider Brand of the Year

  1. Google Fiber
  2. FiOS (Verizon/Frontier)
  3. Charter Spectrum
  4. XFINITY by Comcast
Other TV & Internet Provider brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Optimum, Time Warner Cable

TV Network Brand of the Year

  1. PBS Television Network (Public Broadcasting Service)
  2. ABC Television Network
  3. CBS Television Network
Other TV Network brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Fox Television Network, NBC Television Network, The CW Television Network

Video Streaming Subscription Brand of the Year


  1. Netflix
  2. Amazon Prime Video
  3. Hulu
  4. HBO NOW
  5. HBO GO
  6. Vevo
Other Video Streaming Subscription brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): CBS All Access, Crackle, Crunchyroll, Funny or Die, MLB.TV, NFL Game Pass, Playstation Vue, Showtime All Access, Sling TV, The Blaze,, Vudu, WWE Network, You Tube Red
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