I was asked that very question by ABC news for this piece examining who can continue Clark’s tradition, and here’s what I said:
“Ryan’s name comes up a lot whenever they’re fishing around for someone to carry on someone else’s legacy. (Think Regis and Matt Lauer.)
“In this case, Dick was obviously helping pave the way for Ryan’s ascendance–and now Ryan can probably do the New Year’s countdown alone–but there was something about Dick Clark’s persona that is completely irreplaceable.
“He was there, in the early days of the rock/pop explosion, and gave it a venue for the masses. He did that before social networking, reality TV, and other easy means of attention grabbing. That’s an achievement that will linger long after the glow of the American Idol competition fades.”