Ratings Soar Post-Kathie Lee

Ratings for “Live With Regis” minus Kathie Lee Gifford have climbed 26 percent over last year since Gifford left the show on July 28, according to Nielsen Research. Executive producer Michael Gelman told The Associated Press that although Gifford had her fans, she was also … news flash! … a polarizing figure.

“When she said goodbye, it opened us up to a whole new audience of those who either might not have been fans or hadn’t even thought about the show,” Gelman told AP.

Gelman says that although there has been some talk about not replacing Gifford, “I think we all at some point want to settle down with somebody. … We’re just not going to rush it, because I don’t think there’s a need to.”

Among the guest hosts alongside Reege since Gifford’s departure: Reege’s wife, Joy Philbin, and “The View’s” Joy Behar.