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King working for telecoms king

July 30, 2012

Two years after his departure from CNN, Larry King returned with a new online talk show last week in partnership with Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man.

“Larry King Now” is the first program to be broadcast by Ora.TV, an online channel backed by Slim’s telecommunications giant America Movil. New 30-minute episodes will be posted online every Monday through Thursday at http://www.ora.tv and on U.S. online video service Hulu Plus.

The show will also be accessible in alternative formats and varying lengths to users of smartphones, minicomputers and internet-connected televisions.

The premier episode featured “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, Senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain, and actor Matthew McConaughey, with more prominent political guests and global leaders promised for future episodes.

King, age 78, hosted “Larry King Live” on CNN for 25 years until December 2010. He has been friends for years with Slim, 72, who topped the rankings of the Forbes rich list in March, with a net worth of 69 billion dollars.

Online news service

Not content with online entertainment, Slim also launched a digital news channel focused on Guadalajara and the state of Jalisco last week.

A collaboration between America Movil and the newspaper El Universal, Un1ón (www.jalisco.un1on.mx) is a local equivalent to Uno TV, a national online news service that Slim set up in 2008. Launched in Jalisco, Un1ón will soon to expanded to other Mexican states such as Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Nuevo Leon, Puebla, Queretaro and Yucatan.

The project will provide competition for television news duopoloy Televisa and TV Azteca, both of whom have complained that America Movil cannot provide online video content in Mexico because it does not have a government license to offer video programming over its phone network. Although America Movil cannot offer a cable service, company officials say it does not require a permit to produce video for the Internet. Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Commission is currently investigating the issue.

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