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Kathie Lee Gifford announces her departure from ''Live''

Kathie Lee Gifford announces her departure from ”Live”–We poll readers on who they think should be Regis Philbin?s next co-host

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After sitting 11 years next to perpetually hyper Regis Philbin, you might need a break too. On the Feb. 29 Live With Regis & Kathie Lee, host Kathie Lee Gifford, 46, announced the news with uncharacteristic stoicism: She plans to leap from Live when her contract ends in August. ”I hope [leaving] will allow me to spread my creative wings,” Gifford later said. Those wings have been busy: Gifford’s been moonlighting on Broadway (in Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together) and recording love songs (her new CD, Born for You, is due this spring). She’s expected to continue both endeavors. But enough about her. Who’ll be Regis’ new partner-in-chat? The Live crew was mum about replacements, so we sought America’s learned counsel via an EW.com online poll. Here, your final answers.

·26.2% Joy Philbin — Reege’s better half
·24.4% Frank Gifford — Mr. Kathie Lee
·17.0% Marilu Henner — Sometime stand-in
·11.2% Joan Lunden — Ex-morning glory
·8.1% Janeane Garofalo — Former guest host
·5.6% Tammy Faye — Eye opener
·4.0% Debbie Matenopoulos — Needs a new View
·3.5% Serena Altschul — Teen magnet