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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Gelman’

What Bryant Gumbel Watches in the Morning. (Hint: It’s Not the Shows He Once Anchored)

When “Good Morning America” recently snapped “Today’s” 16-year winning streak, former “Today” star Bryant Gumbel was underwhelmed.

“I didn’t really have much of a reaction,” says Gumbel, 63, “Today” co-anchor from 1982 to ’97. “[The streak] is a long time, but nothing lasts forever. It’s the nature of the business. I’ve been gone a long time now – 15 years. It’s frightening.”

Gumbel returns to mornings today and tomorrow as guest host on “Live! with Kelly.” Today marks his 24th gig; his second since Regis Philbin stepped down in November. No permanent partner yet for Kelly Ripa.

Why does Gumbel do “Live!” so frequently? “[Executive producer] Michael Gelman is a friend of mine,” he says. “Kelly is a friend of mine. The studio is very close to my house. When they ask, if my schedule allows and I’m not in one of my moods, I say yes.”

Gumbel’s moods are no joke, as many can attest. He describes the above-referenced one as: “Screw the business; I’d rather be in a cave and have nobody see me the rest of my life.” Even when he’s not in a mood, Gumbel characterizes himself as “somewhere between a hermit and a recluse.”

These days, he’s a happy hermit. He’s quietly beaten lung cancer, twice, and prostate cancer. He and his wife, Hilary, are about to celebrate their 10th anniversary. He just became a

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Regis Philbin on Keith Olbermann: ‘I don’t think he’d get along with Gelman for 10 minutes’

What’s next for Regis Philbin? Will he take a page from Oprah and create his own network? “No, Regis wants to relax a little bit,” he says. Will he pair up with his former co-host (for six months in 1981) Mary Hart: “She is an institution in her own right. That might be fun.”

Whatever it is, don’t call it retirement.

Philbin sat down with B&C editor Ben Grossman this morning at the annual NATPE conference in Miami Beach. “It was kind of awkward and not easy,” said Philbin of telling co-host Kelly Ripa and producer Michael Gelman of his departure. “I was nervous.”

As for possible replacements, Philbin says “it’ll be up to the ABC people and Gelman and Kelly.” But what does he think about Keith Olbermann taking over: “I don’t think he’d get along with Gelman for 10 minutes.”

Philbin, along with the also departing “Entertainment Tonight” co-host Mary Hart and NBC Sports & Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol, was honored last night at the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award dinner. In 1981 Philbin and Hart co-hosted a short-lived NBC daytime talk show that was canceled by then-network head Tartikoff after 6 months.

30 years later, he takes pride in telling the NATPE crowd that when he brought his talents to ABC: “Every day of every week of every year for 28 years we beat NBC at 9 O’Clock. They (the third hour of “Today”) did come back, and last month they had a week where they topped us.”

B&C's Ben Grossman warmed up Regis Philbin with ice cream bars ahead of his interview this morning at NATPE.