The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Regis Philbin, 79, to Retire

Posted on | January 18, 2011 | 4 Comments

And isn’t it about time?

Regis Philbin, a star of morning television for a generation, made a surprise announcement at the start of “Live with Regis and Kelly” Tuesday morning, telling viewers that he intends to step down sometime later this year.
The decision will mark the end of one of television’s longest runs on the same show for an individual host — 28 years. Mr. Philbin has shared the show with two chief co-hosts during his run, Kathy Lee Gifford and the current co-host Kelly Ripa. . . .
Mr. Philbin broke into his usual morning banter with Ms. Ripa, to say: “Well, I’ve got one of those announcements to make.” He added that he didn’t “want to alarm anybody” before declaring, referring to his producer Michael Gelman, “It’s going to happen. The station needs to know and Gelman needs to know and we all need to know. But this will be my last year.”
Mr. Philbin, 79, did not offer any specific reason for his decision other than to say, “There is a time. Everything must come to an end for certain people on camera — for certain old people.”

Certainly after so many years as a national TV star, Regis Philbin ought to have accumulated enough wealth that he can live comfortably the rest of his life, and I certainly wish him a long life.

I’m not anti-geezer. At 51, I’m a good ways down the road to geezerdom myself. But I’ve always thought it was wrong for people to ensconce themselves in a key position and then stay there past the point where they’re doing anything other than going through the motions — and preventing younger people from having an opportunity. There comes a time when a successful person ought to go play golf and write his memoirs.

One of the things that ruined CBS News was that Dan Rather stayed in the “Evening News” anchor chair until he was 75, preventing the organization from revitalizing its on-air personnel.

UPDATE: Democrat Sen. Kent Conrad has decided to retire rather than seek re-election in 2012, but unlike Philbin, it isn’t advanced age that’s driving 62-year-old Conrad out of the Senate. It’s the Big Red Wave, which hit North Dakota hard in the 2010 midterms, as Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post notes, “Former [Democrat] Sen. Byron Dorgan retired in the face of a challenge from popular [Republican] Governor-now-Senator John Hoeven while former Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) was defeated by [Republican] Rick Berg.”


Comments are closed.