Kelly Ripa held hands with Michael Strahan as they greeted their audience today and they looked fine. Ripa did say she was sure there were snipers hidden around the set with tranquilizing guns aimed at her in case she goes too far off script, but that was said in a joking manner.
While things appeared fine, something must have transpired behind the scenes because Strahan, whose departure date from “Live” was originally set for September, has moved that up quite a bit. His last day on “Live” will be May 13. Of course this sounds like a business decision according to the powers who be. This earlier departure date comes with the excuse that it will give “Live” a chance to start trying co-hosts out earlier and it gives Strahan a chance to learn the ropes over at “GMA.”
Ripa came back to work Tuesday for the first time since Strahan and the producers of the show blindsided her with the news Strahan was going to “GMA” full-time. She did have Monday scheduled off long before the blowup at “Live.” Last week Ripa was told only moments before the press release went out that Michael was headed to “GMA” full-time and she was livid, reports Us Magazine on April 26.
As Ripa said today on the show, the event opened up a greater discussion involving respect. Ripa really didn’t get any respect when everyone knew Strahan was leaving, but yet they waited until the last minute to tell her.
There were a few folks who predicted that Kelly and Michael wouldn’t work together until September, many predicted Michael would leave sooner than September and they were right. He has a little more than two weeks left on the show. According to ABC News today, Strahan will be seen on “GMA” with “increasing frequency” leading up to his full-time gig on the show.
Here is the statement announcing Strahan’s early departure from “Live:”
“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,” the statement to Us read. “To that end, Michael’s last day on Live will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new cohost. This plan also allows GMA to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September.”