Michael Strahan will be the next permanent co-host of “Live! With Kelly,”Broadcasting & Cable reported Tuesday. The former New York Giants star and NFL single-season sack leader will join Kelly Ripa on “Live!,” filling the position Regis Philbin left behind when he retired in November 2011.

The news leaked out a day after “Live!” announced that Kelly’s new co-host would join her for the debut of the show’s new season on Sept. 4.

The energetic Strahan has emerged as a media star after his football retirement, co-hosting “Fox NFL Sunday” and starring in the short-lived BET sitcom “Brothers.” The LA Times had previously reported that Strahan would keep his “NFL Sunday job” even if he landed the “Live!” gig.

Strahan’s selection marks the end of a year-long search in which Ripa auditioned 59 celebrities to see who would be the best fit. Frontrunners for the gig were believed to include Strahan, Jerry O’Connell and Nick Lachey. Ripa recently said her dream co-host would Anderson Cooper, but his two shows could preclude him from taking the job.

In his audition episodes, Strahan proved himself to be a high-energy host who has solid chemistry with Ripa. During a June “Live!” interview Channing Tatum, Strahan ripped off his pants and broke into a “Magic Mike”-inspired stripping routine.

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