Kelly Ripa: Michael Strahan’s Exit Brings Her Rocky Relationship With Gelman Front And Center

Kelly Ripa was as shocked as the rest of us when news broke that Michael Strahan would be leaving Live! for a full-time position with Good Morning America. It’s no secret that Kelly is infuriated that she wasn’t given advance notice about his departure. She reportedly found out about it when the rest of us found out, and she feels betrayed by the decision to not let her know the announcement was coming.

Last night, People reported that there is more than one reason for Ripa’s anger, and the second one involves her strained relationship with Live! producer Michael Gelman. They cite an industry source as saying that Kelly and Gelman have not gotten along for years. Strahan has become a sort of go-between for the two, easing some of the tension between them. Ripa is losing the person who is both her co-host and the person who had allowed her and Gelman to maintain a relatively drama-free working relationship. It seems that Kelly doesn’t like the way she is treated by Gelman.

People’s insider said, “Gelman doesn’t treat Michael bad and doesn’t talk to him the way he talks to Kelly… Michael had become the go-between for them, so that’s part of why Kelly is really pissed Michael is leaving.”

Ripa didn’t appear on Tuesday’s Live! show, and according to CNN, her absence will continue until at least Tuesday of next week. In the meantime, the show will include guest co-hosts to fill Kelly’s spot. Although ABC reported that she had previously scheduled vacation time for Friday and Monday, they did not have an explanation for her absence on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s widely believed that she is protesting what she views as a betrayal by both Strahan and the network. It’s also believed that Live! producer Michael Gelman didn’t know about Strahan’s departure any earlier than Kelly Ripa did.

One of CNN’s sources spoke about Ripa and said, “She is beyond angry. Beyond.”

On Wednesday night, a spokeswoman for Live! said this about filling Kelly’s empty seat for the next few days.

“On tomorrow’s ‘LIVE with Kelly and Michael,’ Erin Andrews will guest co-host with Michael Strahan. Friday’s show — which already was scheduled to pre-tape on Thursday — also will be co-hosted by Andrews. Kelly Ripa will be out on Friday and Monday for a previously-scheduled vacation. On Monday’s show, Michael will be joined by ‘Pretty Little Liars’ star Shay Mitchell.”

Kelly Ripa has co-hosted Live! for 15 years. Michael Strahan joined her four years ago. A few months ago, Strahan joined Good Morning America on a part-time basis. He is now leaving his position as co-host with Kelly to join Good Morning America on a full-time basis. Besides feeling blindsided by the sudden news, it’s rumored that Ripa also feels that the way ABC handled the news shows a lack of respect for the show.

While Strahan didn’t comment specifically on the situation with Kelly on Wednesday morning’s show, he did clarify that he isn’t leaving until September and is happy to play a role in the future of the show.

“I’m always available to guest co-host; I’m always going to be a part of this family.”

He did address Ripa at the end of the show.

“Kelly, I thank you, I love you.”

Kelly Ripa began her time on Live! in 2002. She sat next to Regis Philbin as co-host for 10 years before his retirement. Michael was chosen as Kelly’s co-host after a search that lasted nearly a year and included many on-air auditions by him and many others who were considered for the position. The first episode of Live! aired on April 4, 1983. Prior to Ripa joining the show, Kathie Lee Gifford co-hosted with Philbin for 15 years.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]