Anderson Cooper Out Of The Running As Kelly Ripa's Next Co-Host

At least one person is out of the running for Live! with Kelly.

Anderson Cooper recently inked a contract with CNN that will lock him into the news network for the long-term, though the specifics of exactly how long-term the deal is have not been disclosed.The Hollywood Reporter said Cooper, 49, will remain at his post for Anderson Cooper 360 and also serve occasional guest gigs on CBS' 60 Minutes, as he's done previously.

Cooper may still appear occasionally as a guest host on Live!, but made clear to hostess Kelly Ripa that he wasn't interested in a permanent role on the popular talk series. He was reportedly Ripa's top choice for replacing Michael Strahan after the former NFL star acrimoniously left the show for an anchor spot on Good Morning America; The Hollywood Reporter notes that Cooper was Ripa's first choice back in 2012 also, but producers convinced her to "get behind" Strahan.

Sources previously told Page Six that DirecTV spokesman Rob Lowe, race car driver Jeff Gordon, and former Saved by the Bell star Mario Lopez were also out of the running for the co-host gig because of their rampant self-promotion. "It's a highly coveted job," a source said. "There's no other show where the co-host gets to have their name in the title of the show—you don't get that kind of prominence. That's why they're leveraging [their place in the race]. Just being in the mix is helpful to their careers and reputation. Well, Rob, Jeff and Mario are not getting the job."

An insider added, "After the whole thing with Michael, [the producers] want someone loyal. They want someone who is going to be in it long-term. They don't want a self-promoter and to [have to] be doing this whole thing again in a year."

Fred Savage of The Wonder Years and Andy Cohen of Watch What Happens: Live are reportedly still in the running for a full-time gig on the daytime staple, but only time will tell who nabs the coveted role.