Showbiz icon Regis Philbin's announcement Tuesday that he'll leave his daily talk show after 28 years may have caught viewers off guard, but people in the television biz have been telling me for a year now that Regis has been looking to hang it up. And with him retiring so soon (late summer), sources close to Kelly tell me that producers are open to making an unconventional choice with his replacement.

"This is not a sudden decision," insiders tell me. "Regis has been talking about his exit from the show he loves for a long time. You just don't get out of bed one morning and decide to quit a job after 28 years. A lot of deep thought went into this."