Michael Strahan To Exit ‘Live!’ In Two Weeks After Tense Kelly Ripa Return

Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa reunited on Live! after Ripa went on an abrupt hiatus due to being blindsided by Strahan’s announcement that he was leaving Live! for Good Morning America.

Soon after, reports circulated that Kelly Ripa, who has been a co-host on Live! for fifteen years, went insane after she found out about Strahan’s plans at the same time as the public. Usually it’s customary that those behind the scenes, such as ABC execs, would clue those involved with the show what was going on, especially someone who has been so vital to the show for years. With the news, Ripa left Strahan in the dust and decided to go to Turks and Caicos with husband Mark Consuelos.

Today was Ripa’s return to the show, and it seemed cordial. In fact, as the Inquisitr reported, it was a tense reunion between Strahan and Ripa. Obviously, there’s no mending those wounds, but fortunately for Kelly, she won’t have to share her co-hosting duties for too long.

According to TMZ, Strahan will not finish his contract out through to the summer, and instead, has decided to leave Live! in two weeks. According to TMZ, who spoke with sources connected with the show, an internal memo went around right as Kelly returned, announcing that Strahan’s last day at Live! is slated for May 13.

The memo reads as follows.

“After meeting with the producers of both ‘Live’ and ‘Good Morning America,’ and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future.

“To that end, Michael’s last day on ‘Live’ will be Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have an appropriate send off for him during the May sweeps, but to also immediately give Kelly and the producers an opportunity to begin the on-air search for a new co-host.”

The memo continued.

“This plan also allows ‘GMA’ to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September.”

Upon Kelly’s return, she addressed the drama that went down behind the scenes, which followed her unannounced absence on the show. Ripa, who returned today to a standing ovation from the Live! audience, made a three minute speech about what transpired over the last week, while promising to still “stay on message” as to not cause any additional drama.

“Our long national nightmare is over. I want to sincerely welcoming me back to this show. The love, the show of support through this bizarre time has been really overwhelming. I needed a few days to gather my thoughts, after twenty six years with this company, I earned the right. In that time I gained some perspective.

“I didn’t want to come out here and say something I might regret, but what transpired over the course of a few days was extraordinary, in that it started a much greater conversation about communication, consideration, and most importantly, respect in the workplace.”

After Kelly’s opening comments on the show, she joined her co-host Michael Strahan at the desk to get the show started. Strahan took a few moments to praise Kelly for her candor, and her legendary status at ABC, and even went as far as to call her the queen of daytime television.

Who do you think Live! will pick to join Kelly Ripa?

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]