For Larry King, the death of Osama bin Laden provided an awakening.
The veteran talk show host had been nudged toward the door by CNN in 2010 after 25 years of interviewing such titans as Frank Sinatra, Tom Cruise and Barack Obama. After that, King had been giving inspirational speeches in far-flung countries, doing an occasional stand-up comedy routine and taping a few TV specials for CNN. One was supposed to run on a Sunday in May 2011. King had dinner guests over that night for a viewing party.
Instead, CNN cut to live coverage following the Navy Seals' deadly raid on Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
"My first instinct was to run to CNN, to get on top of the story," King said last week during an interview at his Beverly Hills home. "And I missed that. Nothing beats being in the middle of the hunt, in the middle of the scene."
The event spurred the 78-year-old broadcaster back into action. A year ago, King entered a partnership with the world's richest man, Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, who is bankrolling a new digital programming service called Ora TV. The venture currently produces just one program, "Larry King Now," which runs on Hulu, the popular online video service.
"This is a whole new world to me," King said. "I don't do the Internet, and now suddenly I'm in the middle of this."