With his departure from “Live with Regis and Kelly” looming, Regis Philbin’s real reason for ending his long run on the daytime talk show has come out, the New York Post reports.
According to the story, it’s all about money. Buena Vista TV wanted him to take a pay cut, the Post reports. Philbin is in the last year of a contract that he signed in 2008 that reportedly pays him $21 million annually.
An industry insider quoted in the story says Philbin was unhappy with the tenor of the negotiations to extend his deal: “They were negotiating, and he didn’t like what they were offering. And they were very foolish — there aren’t a lot of [syndicated] hits and ‘Live’ is a cash cow, so why risk Regis leaving?”
Asked to comment for the Post story, a "Live" spokesperson said, "This is just old gossip rehashing yet again."
Philbin’s departure from “Live,” announced way back in January, is set for Nov. 18, with the host agreeing to stay on long enough to carry the show through November sweeps.
Philbin, who recently turned 80, is not retiring from show business — just the "Live" show. He has reportedly taped a reality TV pilot in Los Angeles.