Regis Philbin has shown his support for The National Enquirer’s campaign to stop plans to replace him with a younger host.
Outside the show’s ABC studios in New York on April 29, Regis held up our Keep Regis T-shirt and told us: “I’d like to thank all your readers for their support and I want you all to know I’m fine.”
Sources insist Live producers are maneuvering to oust him. The front runner to take over is Survivor host Jeff Probst, 42.
So to keep up the pressure to stop the crazy scheme, we handed our special T-shirts to hundreds of fans who traveled from as far as Canada to express their outrage. Said Lorne Baird from Peterborough, Ontario: “There is no way they can drop Regis – he makes our mornings and we all think he is the greatest.”
Superman actor Dean Cain emerged from an appearance on the Live show to voice his concern, saying: “They can’t get rid of him. He really is a Superman.” Regis assured Cain and the fans that he doesn’t intend to give up the daytime slot he’s held for 20 years.
And, in a new development, a show source said Regis’ co-host Kelly Ripa is being courted to join the Today Show, which has been losing ratings to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
NBC network honcho Jeff Zucker said on April 27 that he’d like to hire Kelly to save Today. “I’d love to rip off Kelly because she’s as natural as you can get on TV,” said Zucker, apparently unconcerned about Katie Couric’s feelings or the fact that Kelly has no news experience. Sources said the bizarre development could work in favor of Regis, who earns $12 million-a-year, as the departure of Kelly would make it almost impossible for TV bosses to dispense with Regis.