Kelly Ripa Signs New Five-Year Contract for 'Live! With Regis and Kelly'
The news of the morning co-host's long-term deal comes as Regis Philbin readies for his exit next week.
With her long-time co-host Regis Philbin prepping for next week's exit, Disney-ABC Domestic Television has locked Kelly Ripa into a five-year deal at Live!
The lucrative pact will go into effect next fall and extend through 2017, setting Ripa up to be a 16-year veteran of the morning chatfast.
The timing is particularly pivotal given the weight being placed squarely on her shoulders as the series prepares to drop the With Regis from its title.
The search for a new co-host has been underway for months -- with names from Ryan Seacrest to Bravo's Andy Cohen bandied about -- but nothing official has emerged. Said a source close to the production, "No decision has been made yet."
Meantime, the long-running series will parade through a series of high-profile names for Philbin's final week. Among them: David Letterman, Donald Trump, Jimmy Fallon and Ripa's predecessor, Kathie Lee Gifford.
Ripa is repped by CAA.