Larry King, Carlos Slim Partner on Digital Television Venture

by | March 12, 2012 at 9:47 AM | TV News

Larry King (AP Photo)

By Brent Lang, The Wrap

Carlos Slim Helú and Larry King are teaming up on a new digital television venture, Ora.TV, the new partners announced on Monday.

In King, Slim is banking his financial heft on the hopes of making digital video pay.

However, it is a somewhat unorthodox choice. While King commands a deep Rolodex of A-list talent and a reputation for his 27 years grilling movie stars and politicians at CNN, the 78-year old is poised to enter his eighth decade and has spent his entire career in broadcasting.

The Wrap first broke the news that the Mexican billionaire and the former cable news staple were getting into business together to bring King back to television, but at the time details were still being hammered out.

In a release touting the launch, Ora.TV’s backers say the new company will create on-demand video programming for digital distribution on a variety of platforms, such as phones, laptops, tablets, connected televisions, and other devices.

“Ora.TV represents a great opportunity,” Slim said in a statement. “The business model is sound and the team brings the talent and industry understanding that will help Ora stand out in digital television, a category which is primed for exponential growth.”

Ora.TV’s content will be available in short and long-form segments, the company said.

Slim and King will serve as co-founders of the newly formed network. Jon Housman will lead the new company. He previously served as president of digital journalism at News Corporation and was the publisher of the Wall Street Journal Europe.

“The backing of Carlos—given his stellar track record in business—combined with Jon’s track record of leadership and innovation, is a recipe for success,” King said in a statement.

The company said it is talking to other on-air personalities to join King and that it has several shows in development.

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