Kelly Ripa Quits ‘Live’? Host Spotted In NYC As The Latest Drama Unfolds [Photo]

Kelly Ripa decided to take a break from Live! after learning that her partner in day-time talk was leaving the show to head to Good Morning America. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Michael Strahan’s new gig was announced this week, but Ripa wasn’t given any sort of notice. Sources say that the former soap star was completely blindsided by Strahan’s move and that she is very upset, being one of the last people to find out what was going on.

When Kelly Ripa was absent from Wednesday’s show, many wondered if it was in direct correlation to what happened with Strahan. It appears that it was. While it was widely reported that Ripa jetted to Turks and Caicos with her husband, Mark Consuelos, just to get away from it all, she was spotted in New York City this morning.

According to E! News, paparazzi caught her leaving her townhouse early Wednesday. It is the first time that Ripa has been spotted since Strahan’s announcement. The petite blonde beauty was all smiles as she headed out the door.

Kelly Ripa will be heading on vacation, however. According to People Magazine, however, this trip was planned. The timing of this vacation may seem suspect, but it was simply “fortuitous.”

“It’s fortuitous that she had this trip planned with her husband and it wouldn’t be surprising if it started early,” shared a source.

Another source shared that Kelly may be taking a few extra days off, but that she will be back despite earlier reports that she was planning on taking a sabbatical from the show until Michael Strahan was gone (he makes his move to GMA in September).

It is important to keep in mind that Kelly Ripa has contractual obligations to fill and will not be quitting Live! at this time. According to TMZ, Kelly also needs the money.

“Our sources say ABC brass isn’t worried that Ripa will bail on the show. We’re told she makes just shy of $15 million a year, and her lifestyle eats up most of it. Kelly and hubby Mark bought a big townhouse on the Upper East Side of NYC a year ago, and they have a mansion in The Hamptons.”

Kelly Ripa is expected to reclaim her throne on Tuesday, April 26. As you can probably imagine, ratings for that episode are expected to be through the roof. It is presumed that Kelly and Michael will talk about his upcoming departure on air.

Kelly Ripa quits

Speaking of Strahan, he took an opportunity on Wednesday’s show to give Kelly a shoutout. She has not responded in any way and has not spoken out on social media.

“I really want to thank, of course, Kelly Ripa. Kelly welcomed me here and I’ve learned so much from her and she’s just been an amazing influence on me and this has truly changed my life to be here with her. And I know that the show will continue to be strong and great because of Kelly and Michael Gellman and the staff here because everybody here is so talented. This show has not been around for over 30 years by mistake. Kelly, I thank you. I love you… and I’m not going to cry on TV mama, I promise you.”

A replacement for Michael Strahan has not yet been found. No word on how much of a say Ripa will have in the matter.

[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]