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No one was more surprised than Kelly Ripa to hear that her Live With Kelly and Michael co-host, Michael Strahan, would be leaving the show come Fall. She only heard the news that he was moving to Good Morning America 30 minutes before the press got wind of the story, which didn’t give her much time to process what that meant for her and the show.
She ended up taking some days off work that coincided with the long weekend she had already requested off, so she returned to the show for the first time on Tuesday morning — a full week after the announcement about Michael had been made. In lieu of Michael’s news and Kelly’s noticeable absence there was a lot of speculation going around which she attempted to put to rest Tuesday morning.
The show opened with Kelly’s monologue, which highlighted what the Disney-ABC corporation had done wrong in not informing her of the changes ahead of time. Kelly tried to point to the good in the situation, though, mentioning the kind of discussions it has brought about as a result.
“What transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary in the sense that it started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration, and more importantly, respect in the workplace. Since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace, this is my second home. … We have an incredible team, we are incredibly devoted to one another. We are family.”
She clearly has a lot of passion about the events that have taken place, as she opened her monologue with:
“I am fairly certain there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I drive too far off message.”
She went on to reiterate that she is happy for Michael despite the dramatic way things played out, and that the show is not nearing the end of its days.
“The parent company has assured me that ‘Live’ is a priority. There is a commitment to this show and, most importantly, to you the viewers who have watched us every day for 30 years.”
It was also confirmed on Tuesday that Michael will be leaving the show several months ahead of schedule, making his last day May 13. At this point, on-air auditions for the new co-host will begin.