Last week Regis Philbin announced his departure from “Live with Regis and Kelly,” a show he’s hosted since his co-host was in middle school. And it turns out that Philbin has fired his agent of 30 years, Jim Griffin, because ABC asked Philbin to take a pay cut.
We’re told the [ABC] honchos made it clear … Regis would be getting a pay cut, partly because the show is not performing as well as in the past … and partly because he takes a lot of time off. Sources say Reeg is currently pulling in between $18 and $20 million a year. Regis, we’re told, was angry at the offer and that was the trigger for his announcement this week that he’s leaving the show. [TMZ]
In an interview, Griffin said he was taken aback by Philbin’s abrupt depature. “When I first met Regis, he hadn’t worked in a year and a half and here we are,” Griffin said, adding, “we’ve had a great run.” Asked what Philbin might have been unhappy about, Griffin said he did not know. “It’s obviously very sad,” he sighed. [LA Times]
To recap: a 79-year-old man who frequently takes days off on a show with falling numbers was asked to take a pay cut from his EIGHT-FIGURE salary during a recession, and his response was to quit the show and fire his agent of three decades. I hope that son of a bitch breaks his hip falling down his golden staircase.
(Note: Pro athletes try to pull stunts like that and there’s a line of middle-aged white columnists writing lectures a mile long. But do it in Hollywood and no one says a damn thing. F you, entertainment press.)