The Real Reason Regis Philbin Is Leaving ‘Live’ – Asked To Take Pay Cut

Written by Michael Lambarde on Jan. 22, 2011

Earlier this week, it was revealed that longtime Live! co-host Regis Philbin decided to leave his daytime talk show after nearly 28 years of working there. However, there is new controversy to his decision to leave the show — it turns out he didn’t want to leave at all. After 28 years on daytime television and an upcoming 80th birthday, viewers didn’t question his decision. It turns out that his departure wasn’t due to the fact that he was simply ready to retire — it was all about money.

Regis was informed that once his contract was up, he would be forced to take a pay cut. He is currently earning $18 to $20 million a year. Philbin’s agent Jim Griffin was told that his client was no longer bringing in top ratings and took too much time off to continue at the same salary. Kelly Ripa was blindsided by his decision to quit, only learning of his decision 15 minutes before the show aired. She was initially “stunned” (video here) but afterward became furious at the total lack of respect for her position as co-host. As for Regis Philbin’s agent — he got an immediate boot for being a poor negotiator.

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