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Regis Philbin Quit Because of Contract Dispute?

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Jan. 24 2011, Published 11:51 a.m. ET

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Rumors have been running wild since Regis Philbin announced he would be leaving Live with Regis & Kelly, mainly claiming that the veteran TV host left the hit talk show because of a contract dispute with ABC and the morning show's producers. But Regis put the rumors to rest.

"We never reached an agreement on the contract ... but I made up my mind a long time ago," Regis told TMZ, suggesting the contract negotiations had nothing to do with why he decided to leave.

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So who will replace the icon? Rumors have run rampant ranging from Sam Champion of Good Morning America to Survivor host Jeff Probst to 20/20 co-anchor Chris Cuomo and Ryan Seacrest.

Also, Kelly Ripa’s former All My Children co-stars Josh Duhamel and Cameron Mathison.

Regis’ former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford suggested the icon probably has other things up his sleeve.

“He’s going to have a landmark birthday in August, It’s a new beginning for him… I don’t think Reg will ever retire,” she explained to Access Hollywood earlier this week.  “He loves what he does so much. But he can work in a lot of different ways and he can do it on his own schedule.”

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