Source: Regis 'Regretting' Decision to Leave 'Live'
By Rob Shuter Posted Feb 24th 2011 10:31AM
It's been a mere two months since TV legend Regis Philbin announced he was saying goodbye to 'Live With Regis And Kelly,' and already insiders tell me he's having second thoughts.
"Regis quit without talking it through" with his co-host, a source with close ties to the show tells me. "He only told Kelly 10 minutes before the show went live, and now he's regretting it."
Regis, who makes a healthy salary (various reports peg it somewhere between $10-$20 million a year), was reportedly annoyed with the way he was being treated in contract negotiations with ABC and went on to fire his longtime agent, Jim Griffin, shortly after he made his announcement.
He's realized that soon he'll be left without a steady job, and a friend of the star tells me he's yet to receive those truly "great offers." No doubt they will come as the clock ticks down on his 28-year run on 'Live,' but waiting is the hardest part!
"He should have accepted a pay cut and remained on the show he created," a friend of Regis' tells me. "He's 79, and everyone knows TV is a young person's game. What was he thinking? I'm sure he looked at how the public has welcomed back Kathie Lee [Gifford, his old co-star] on 'Today' and assumed they would do the same for him. But as of now, he hasn't had any great offers."
When he announced on Jan. 18 that he was leaving 'Live,' Regis made it clear he wasn't going to be moving to the old folks home or anything. "I'm not going to retire. I just will be gone," he said.
I was actually at ABC studios in New York just hours after Regis made his announcement, and an executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity told me that producers have been "unofficially testing" out possible replacements for a while, but that they haven't necessarily found Kelly's partner yet. ABC said in January that it will announce Regis' replacement in the coming months.
I say stay, Regis ... or get back in the game show business pronto!
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