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Report: Anderson Cooper Chooses New CNN Contract Over Live With Kelly

The seat next to Kelly Ripa on Live won’t be filled by Anderson Cooper. The newsman has reportedly signed a new deal to remain at CNN, which takes him out of the running to be Ripa’s permanent Live co-host.

Cooper’s new deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter, will keep him in place as anchor of CNN’s primetime show Anderson Cooper 360, and also allow him to continue to film segments for CBS’ 60 Minutes. But sources tell THR the deal will not allow him to appear full-time on Live, the syndicated daytime talk show he has guest-hosted alongside Ripa many times in the past.

The seat next to Ripa has been empty since her Live co-host Michael Strahan left the show back in May to join ABC’s Good Morning America full-time, setting off plenty of behind-the-scenes drama. Cooper was believed to be Ripa’s top pick to replace Strahan, but THR reports that after signing his CNN deal, Cooper reached out to Ripa personally to let her know he wouldn’t be joining her.

He will continue to fill in as guest host, however. In fact, Cooper is scheduled to co-host Live with Ripa next Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Now that Cooper is out of the mix, who should be Kelly Ripa’s permanent co-host on Live? Hit the comments and give us your top picks.