Regis Philbin, host of LIVE! With Regis and Kelly for nearly 25
years, will be retiring from his weekday talk show at the end of the summer or fall, he
announced Tuesday morning on LIVE. He did not specify a departure date.
"This will be my last year on this show," Philbin told viewers on-air. "It's been a long time, it's been 28 years since I've been here... There is a time that everything must come to an end."
The Disney-ABC Television Group will continue LIVE after
Philbin's exit, naming a new
co-host for Kelly Ripa, who has been with the program since 2001.
"It has been my great honor
to work with Regis since the Walt Disney Company nationally syndicated LIVE
in 1988," said Janice Marinelli, president, Disney-ABC Domestic Television, in a statement. "Regis is one
of the great, iconic television personalities of our time and we couldn't have
asked for a better friend and partner over the years. We will all certainly
miss having Regis be a part of our day."
Philbin has hosted LIVE in some form since 1983, when it debuted as The Morning Show on WABC New York then premiered in national syndication in 1988 as Live with Regis & Kathie Lee. He has been a television personality since the late 1950s, hoting The Regis Philbin Show in San Diego, serving as Joey Bishop's sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show and helming A.M. Los Angeles, among many others.
He was also host of ABC's ratings juggernaut Who Wants to Be a Millionaire during its initial primetime run in 1999-2003.
Philbin, 79, has won three Emmy Awards and a
Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts &
Sciences, as well as from Broadcasting & Cable. He will receive the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award at the NATPE marketplace in Miami Jan. 25.