As the countdown to the end of the Regis Era on “Live” closes in, more details about why the talk-show veteran is leaving the show after 28 years are coming out … from Philbin himself.
Philbin admitted that “contractual issues” forced him out, and that was what was behind his on-air announcement in January in which he shocked viewers by revealing he was stepping down as co-host.
“The contractual issue just never worked out, but I was going to leave before that anyway,” Regis, 80, said Friday on The Mojo in the Morning radio show.
“I’m not calling it quits, you understand,” he added. “I’m moving on. I’m not retiring. I’m not quitting. I’m moving on.”
When the interviewer suggested that ABC was making a mistake in letting go of Regis, Philbin replied: “Of course it’s a big mistake, but Regis is moving on.”
And he just may be moving on to primetime … eventually.
“I don’t want anything lined up yet. I want to have a few moments of peace alone before I get involved with somebody else,” Regis said of his next move.
As for his replacement, Regis says producers are taking their time finding the right man to take his seat next to co-host Kelly Ripa.
“I really don’t know and I know they don’t know,” Philbin says of casting. “It’s going to be a process of three or four months of her trying out different people, seeing who clicks with her.”
Philbin’s final episode of “Live with Regis and Kelly” will be Friday, November 18.