As NBC shuffles hosts, execs want Regis Philbin back on air: Report
Regis Philbin could be eyeing NBC's "Today" show, where he could appear with former "Live!" co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, according to a report.
NBC execs are considering Philbin to return to the show as a special contributor and entertainment specialist if Hoda Kotb -- the front-runner to replace Ann Curry on "Today" -- becomes Matt Lauer's new co-host, Radar Online reported Monday.
Curry was reportedly exiting the show with a $10 million payout from NBC executives who want to rescue the morning franchise from its ratings slump. Since Curry took over for Meredith Vieira a year ago, "Today" has lost viewers to ABC's "Good Morning America," leaving the two shows neck-in-neck each week.
Some have speculated that Curry, a seasoned hard-news journalist who is expected to return to foreign reporting for NBC News, was a bad fit for the morning hours that are stuffed with fluffier content.
Philbin, 80, who co-hosted the fourth hour of the show last week with Gifford, has said he's missed the spotlight since leaving "Live" last November.
"If Hoda is chosen to become Matt Lauer's co-anchor, Regis would be the natural choice to replace her," an NBC source reportedly told Radar.