Regis Philbin said he made a mistake when he announced that he would depart the daytime talk show he co-hosts with Kelly Ripa this year. He should have made it clear that he is leaving, but not fading into the sunset.
"I'm not retiring from the business," the 79-year-old said at the NATPE convention.
Making the announcement on "Live with Regis and Kelly" was obviously trying. So were the hours leading up to it. He was told not to tell anyone until the morning of his departure, including Ripa and executive producer Michael Gelman.
Ripa was incredulous, and Philbin said she offered up a version of: "What is this about?" "It was kind of awkward -- it was not easy," he added.
Philbin said his contract is expiring, and he felt that "it's just been so long and you reach a point in your life where maybe you'd like to do something else."
He said he didn't know what he would do next, or who would replace him.
One possibility for him: the Notre Dame grad said he shared a joke with NBC Universal sports chief Dick Ebersol Tuesday about doing sideline reporting for his alma mater's games.