updated 09/23/2009 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/23/2009 AT 11:15 AM ET
If you have hopes of sharing morning coffee with Anderson Cooper by next year, think again. The CNN anchor, 43, told PEOPLE that there’s not truth to rumors he’ll be replacing Regis Philbin, 78, on the latter’s ABC a.m. show next year.
“Regis is the king,” Cooper says. “He’s not going anywhere!”
Cooper, who’s occasionally subbed for Philbin alongside Kelly Ripa, said at the New Yorkers for Children Benefit at Cipriani 42nd Street on Tuesday night that even his journalistic skills couldn’t sleuth out where the rumors started.
“It’s completely made up. I have no idea where it came from,” he says. “Regis is not retiring, and I’m very happy with what I’m doing.”
In other words, just because Live! with Regis and Kelly has a new look doesn’t mean it’ll go whole hog with a new lead. Not that that means Anderson won’t still do the morning gig every now and then.
“I occasionally fill in for Regis, which is maybe how this came about,” he says. “I love filling in for him, I love working with Kelly Ripa. It’s nice to exercise different muscles.”