Regis Philbin's send off

November 18, 2011 4:37:31 PM PST
I'm still flying high from this morning's unforgettable send off for our pal Regis Philbin. The man who's logged more TV time than anyone in history - it's nearly 1 million minutes - this morning bid adieu to the job he's held for the past 28 years: Host of "Live!"

It's been "Live! With Regis and Kelly" for the past 11 years. And Kelly this morning, in a masterful and heartfelt farewell to her partner, guided the audience - at home and in the studio - through a look back at Regis' incredible career.

He's an endearing figure in large part because he's so much the Everyman. And his success - and he IS wildly successful - came after he turned 50. Few of us would call his life up until then "unsuccessful," because he was always working and doing what he loved. But the hard truth about Reege is that none of his gigs really paid off - until he came to New York, and to this television station, to host what would become a morning TV institution.

Every one of the segments was rich and filled with laughter and tears. And - without sounding too corny - I was honored to be there.

So that's the backdrop for our 11 o'clock newscast - the last day here of our oh-so-talented colleague, Regis Philbin.

Now to the newscast - and we're watching a controversial high school football playoff game tonight in New Jersey. It's controversial because several of the players in Wayne were not supposed to be on the field tonight. They were accused of beating up two students from a rival school. The decision whether they should play went back and forth and back again. Sometime after midnight last night, the school district - behind closed doors - voted to reverse an earlier decision and let them play.

The case has sparked intense debate, focusing on the concept of innocent till found guilty versus the power of sports programs at schools and the perception that athletes get some sort of get-out-of-jail-free-card when they're accused of wrongdoing.

As I say, we're at the game tonight.

Also at 11, our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer has uncovered a rather embarrassing situation involving New York State's judgment with real estate purchases.

Turns out - the State, which is drenched in red ink - has lost buckets of money selling property for far less than it bought it for. And wait till you hear why.

For most of us, selling real estate for less than our purchase price is like wearing a big "L" on our forehead. I know what it feels like: I sold a home for 60 percent of what I bought it for. And it affected me. It still does. I felt/feel foolish and far less smart and bold than I used to about my ability to turn $1 into $2. So I've just stopped trying.

Which is a long way of saying that for most of us, selling real estate for less than you bought it for is a life-long plague.

But apparently not for New York State.

We'll have Jim's report, at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20. Oh, and for those of you keeping track, there have now been 1,070 protesters arrested as part of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. I'm just sayin'.


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