TV Veteran Regis Philbin To Retire

by , Jan 18, 2011, 1:57 PM
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First Larry, now Regis.

Talk-show veteran Regis Philbin, who also became the subject of national renown as host of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" on ABC, said Tuesday he will retire sometime later this year, without citing any date. He made the announcement on "Live with Regis and Kelly."

The successful daytime show will continue as distributor Disney-ABC searches for a partner for Kelly Ripa. Philbin, 79, has been on the show in national syndication -- first with Kathie Lee Gifford and then Ripa -- for 23 years, starting in 1988.

"Live With Regis and Kelly" is seen by an average of 4 million viewers, according to a recent Nielsen report.

Philbin's departure is yet another one among older stars in the TV world, with Larry King leaving his CNN show and Oprah Winfrey exiting her syndicated show. Winfrey will continue to appear on her eponymous OWN network. Barbara Walters continues on "The View."

"I don't want to alarm anybody ... but this will be my last year on the show," Philbin reportedly said. "There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera, especially certain old people."

Philbin had worked in morning TV in Los Angeles before coming to New York in 1983.

"Millionaire" began in 1999 as a prime-time ABC show; it became a national phenomenon before the network ran it too many nights, which arguably led to its demise.

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