Kelly Ripa may have been duped by ABC once again. The Live co-host recently announced that Ryan Seacrest will be her permanent host on the hit talk show — but is he making more money than her?
Celebrity Dirty Laundry reports that Seacrest is in high demand in Hollywood. The former American Idol host has a slew of projects underway, including his radio shows on iHeartMedia — On Air with Ryan Seacrest and American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest — and his production work on Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Dick Clark’s new Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Seacrest pulled down $15 million on American Idol. With so many projects under his belt, Seacrest will be flying to New York every weekend to tape Live before heading home to Los Angeles. Given all the travel time and his busy schedule, ABC likely offered him a large salary to take the gig.
The specifics of Seacrest’s salary are unknown and it isn’t clear if he is earning more than Ripa. The casting comes a year following Michael Strahan’s shocking exit from the show, which left Ripa scrambling for a replacement. But instead of picking a new co-host right away, Ripa went through a lot of guest hosts and seemed ready to take the show on by herself.
That changed last week when Ripa made the big announced that Seacrest was taking over co-hosting duties from here on out. According to Blasting News, Seacrest wasn’t even Ripa’s first choice. Did the network hire him under her nose?
Inside sources claim that Ripa had several different choices ahead of Seacrest, including Andy Cohen, Anderson Copper, Mark Consuelos, and Jimmy Kimmel. Even worse, it sounds like the president of ABC, Ben Sherwood, made the final decision without Ripa’s blessing. These rumors haven’t been confirmed, and Ripa seemed happy when she made the announcement last week.
Even if Seacrest is making more money and wasn’t Kelly Ripa’s first choice, it was a good decision by the network. After all, Seacrest is a big celebrity in his own right and has plenty of experience hosting. The only thing going against them is that Ripa is married and has children while Seacrest is not — but that doesn’t mean he’ll never get hitched.
According to People, Seacrest opened up about his single status on a recent episode of Live and admitted that he almost got engaged once upon a time. “I did get close and I didn’t do it and it was the right move,” he shared. “But I love the idea — and I know you’re going to ask me — of marriage because my parents have been married for 47 years, and so I have this thing — and you’ve been married 21.”
Seacrest added that he is afraid of rushing into marriage because he doesn’t want to mess things up. He does, however, think about getting engaged and seemed open to the idea of marriage in the future. Unfortunately, it might be a long time before this happens.
While Seacrest’s dating status remains open, he was happy to have landed the co-hosting job with Ripa, especially given the competition. “I hosted earlier this year and every time you’re in that seat you’re thinking, ‘Gosh, if this ever works out, then this is the audition tape,'” he admitted. “I would watch the other co-hosts and be like, ‘Darn it, they’re really good. Maybe everyone can do my job.'”
Ripa has not commented on the rumors surrounding Seacrest’s casting.
Fans can watch Ripa and Seacrest in action when Live with Kelly & Ryan airs every weekday morning on local listings.
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[Featured Image by Disney/ABC]