NEW YORK - Could someone be filling Kathie Lee's old chair permanently?
Published reports yesterday said Kelly Ripa of the soap opera "All My Children'' will join Regis Philbin as the new co-host of "Live With Regis.'' They said the announcement could come as early as Monday.
"Live'' spokeswoman Debbie Dolins couldn't say whether there will be an announcement on Monday, or even whether Ripa is a finalist for Kathie Lee Gifford's old job.
"We can't confirm anything yet,'' Dolins said yesterday.
Ripa has filled in as co-host several times since September, and announced during a guest spot in November that she's pregnant. She's played Hayley Santos since 1990 on the ABC drama, for which she has been nominated twice for a daytime Emmy.
Gifford bantered with Philbin on "Live With Regis & Kathie Lee'' for 15 years before leaving last July. Several women have been mentioned as possible replacements, including CNBC financial reporter Maria Bartiromo and Philbin's wife, Joy.