Kelly Ripa was allegedly blindsided by Michael Strahan’s decision to quit Live! with Kelly and Michael and was left “stunned” and “upset” by his sudden decision to leave the show.
According to a report by the New York Daily News, Ripa had no idea that Strahan was planning on ditching the popular talk show in order to appear full-time on Good Morning America and alleged that she only found out about Michael’s decision minutes after the two stopped filming on April 19.
The site revealed that Michael told both Kelly and the show’s executive producer Michael Gelman shortly before the news broke to the world that he was quitting the show, leavening the two “shocked” and “surprised” by his seemingly sudden departure.
TMZ is reporting that Ripa and Gelman only found out about Strahan’s decision at around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday and had no advanced warning that Michael was even considering leaving the series, meaning that there were no plans in motion to replace Kelly’s co-host of four years.
Reportedly, Strahan was not obliged to be at the Live! with Kelly and Michael sit-down earlier this week but opted to attend the bombshell meeting “out of respect” for Ripa.
Despite the alleged bombshell, Michael had nothing but praise for Kelly Ripa in a statement issued to Entertainment Tonight, where he described the long time Live! host as being an “unbelievable partner” over his four year stint on the ABC show.
“Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans,” Michael Strahan said of Ripa, noting that his “time with Live! with Kelly and Michael has been transformative” and called his decision to leave “bittersweet.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience,” Strahan added.
ABC News President James Goldston also issued a statement about Michael’s new gig at Good Morning America, where he praised Strahan’s “incredible ability to connect with people.”
“He will end a four year run as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on Live! where he has honed his skills as an interviewer with genuine warmth and a quick wit,” Goldston said. “At GMA, he’ll now have even more opportunities to tell stories that inspire, inform and empower people.”
Kelly Ripa has so far stayed mum on Michael Strahan’s decision to leave Live! with Kelly & Michael, but this certainly isn’t the first time Kelly has been kept in the dark about the departure of one of her co-hosts.
According to TMZ, Ripa was also left shell-shocked by her former co-host, Regis Philbin, after he opted to leave the show without consulting Kelly back in 2011.
The site claimed at the time that Philbin only informed Ripa that the January 2011 show would be his last just 15 minutes before the duo went live on air and reported that Kelly was left “shocked” by Regis’ decision to leave the long-running talk show but added that she “wasn’t upset” by the news.
As for who will be sitting alongside Ripa as Michael Strahan’s replacement on Live! with Kelly and Michael, the New York Daily News is speculating that ABC will hold another open call to find a new co-host as they have done in the past.
The site claimed that Live with Kelly & Michael is expected to start auditioning new co-hosts for Ripa after Michael steps down in August and will undergo “a similar process to the one that landed Strahan the job.”
What do you think of Michael Strahan not telling Kelly Ripa about his plans to leave the show?
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