Is the the former New York Giants great Michael Strahan about to play a new position on television?
Widespread reports this week have named Mr. Strahan as the choice of the Walt Disney Company to replace Regis Philbin and become the co-host with Kelly Ripa of the company’s syndicated “Live” morning talk show.
The news was first reported in the media trade publication Broadcasting and Cable, which cited multiple sources as saying Mr. Strahan, 40, had been selected from among a roster of candidates to be Ms. Ripa’s partner on the show. And The Associated Press reported that Mr. Strahan was in talks to finalize his deal.
Representatives of the show declined to comment in any way on the reports on Wednesday, citing a longstanding policy of not addressing speculation about the coming selection of a co-host.
Mr. Strahan has been a frequent guest host with Ms. Ripa, and his name has frequently been mentioned as one of the most likely winners of the who-should-replace-Mr. Philbin derby. Some viewers have praised his chemistry with Ms. Ripa, though others have noted that Mr. Strahan would not be a mainstream choice.
That is mainly because his background is dominated by his career as a star defensive end for the Giants, though an earlier star from that team, Frank Gifford, enjoyed a long and successful career on television.
Mr. Strahan’s football-player physique also makes for a stark physical contrast with Ms. Ripa, who could be a model for petite-size fashions.
The “Live” show set off the speculation about the co-host by declaring that it would announce the new person when the show returned from vacation. Ms. Ripa will host the show solo on Labor Day, and the new co-host will be introduced the next morning, Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The list of potential co-hosts narrowed after Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live,” who was known to be one of the favorites of the show’s executive producer, Michael Gelman, took his name out of the running.
Among the other people rumored to be on the short list were the singers Nick Lachey and Josh Groban, and the NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan.
Mr. Strahan, who has another television assignment he is expected to keep even if he lands the “Live” position — as a member of the Fox Sports roundtable on NFL Sundays — has made no secret of his pursuit of the “Live”position. In May, he told the CNN program “Showbiz Tonight” that he was not going into the competition thinking the job would be to replace Mr. Philbin.
“I just look at it as an opportunity to go on TV and tell stories and have fun and entertain myself and other people,” Mr. Strahan said. “I think the show fits my personality.”
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