My wife watches Live With Kelly now and then. She used to watch it back when it was Live with Regis and Kelly until Regis Philbin ‘retired’ last year, leaving Kelly Ripa as the sole host.
Since then, they’ve had a variety of co-hosts that have come on, many multiple times. This was the same way it worked when Kathie Lee Gifford left the show a little over ten years ago, and Kelly ended up as the co-host.
Now, she’s the star.
My wife asked me if I had heard anything about them hiring a permanent host. I hadn’t but it was more because that’s not really my thing, but I had a theory:
Maybe the producers aren’t in any big rush to hire a co-host.
Co-hosts cost money. And, depending on the co-host, it could cost a lot of money.
The real reason that Regis ‘retired’, as it turns out, was because he wanted a raise. I think the producers instead wanted him to take a pay cut. Even though the show is one of the highest rated daytime syndicated shows, the fact is that the total number of viewers continues to decline as cable TV and other networks take viewers and spread them around.
This means that advertisers aren’t willing to continue to pay more and more for spots. This flattens the revenues, or can even bring them down if advertisers start demanding rates.
So, look at what’s happened.
They jettisoned Regis’ salary. They likely kept advertising rates the same.
Basically, Regis’ salary goes directly to the bottom line.
And, in that case, why would they want to take that away?
It’s doubtful that whoever they brought in would command anywhere near what Regis was making, but at this point, zero is better than even 25% of Regis’ salary.
My guess is that they will hire someone eventually, but for now, the producers are probably just fine with keeping things status quo.
Do you watch Live With Kelly?
UPDATE: She finally chose a co-host!