Katie CouricWhen Larry King leaves CNN later this year, we will lose the best interviewer on television. Larry has the unique ability and trained skill among the current crop of television interviewers to listen to his guest. He never tries to embarrass the guest or upstage him or her. He says, “I leave my ego at home.” His interviews do not become shouting matches.

Over these many years I have watched and listened as he interviewed everyone from Billy Graham to Lady Gaga and I have admired his ability. He never becomes the show. Sometimes he does drool a little too much with some of the more glamorous stars and fawns a little too much over some athlete that no one cares about; however, if he were in one of my courses on communication he would definitely get an A. When the interview is over, I usually know what the guest thinks. Larry is a professing Jew, and he treats Billy Graham with tremendous respect. He is nuts about Nancy Reagan and he treats Hillary Clinton with the same respect. Even with someone like Netanyahu, who is determined not to say anything of the slightest importance, Larry turns in a good performance.

Katie Couric is the most logical successor to Larry. Katie is an excellent interviewer and given the relaxed nature of a show like Larry’s, she would become even better. Like Larry she knows everyone and is respected by everyone except perhaps Sarah Palin. She knows how to listen and how to follow-up. She puts the interviewee at ease and creates a good atmosphere.

CNN is having its troubles and the departure of Larry will make matters worse for them. The top brass at the cable network would help their cause if they worked out a way to get Katie. I realize that the night belongs to the shouters and the constant conspiracy theorists not to mention the barrage of personality assassins, but so far CNN has proved a voice of reason. CNN should allow Katy to choose the guests. She has all the right contacts and knows who and what matters.