In an interview with People Magazine that hits newsstands on Friday, Live! With Kelly and Michael co-host Kelly Ripa is opening up about Michael Strahan leaving the show in order to be a co-host on Good Morning America.
Ripa said she heard the news of Strahan leaving the show around the same time that the news was released to the public back in April, according to People. Speaking to the magazine, Ripa said “There’s a part of me that can say, ‘Okay, I understand. This may have been an oversight.’ And again, after 26 years, at this point we are like a family. And sometimes when you are so comfortable with somebody, you may not give them the same consideration as somebody you’re not as comfortable with – a certain formality falls away.”
Ripa went on to say that she’s not dealing with any “monsters” at ABC and that she doesn’t think that anyone’s “out to get her.”
She also touched on her decision not to work the day after Strahan’s exit was announced, saying she needed time to think everything through and process everything, adding that she “needed to make sure I said the appropriate things on TV and didn’t just come out and say whatever.”
And as for why Strahan is leaving earlier than expected? Ripa said it’s due to the show going into summer hiatus soon and because of vacations that staffers may have planned before Strahan’s move was announced, according to People. With Strahan now leaving four months earlier than originally planned, this gives producers time to find a replacement host that would gel well with Ripa.
While a new co-host has yet to be announced, many think Anderson Cooper, a friend of Ripa’s, could be a potential new co-host, though he’s said he’s “very happy at CNN.”
Until then, the show will have different co-hosts after Strahan exits the show on Friday, May 13. The first guest host is going to be Jimmy Kimmel, who hosts ABC’s late-night talk show. He’ll co-host the episode for Monday, May 16.
Strahan’s exit from Live! With Kelly and Michael was announced on April 19. For the rest of the week, Ripa didn’t appear on the show, though for the Thursday and Friday and the following Monday, it was planned as she was going on vacation with her husband to celebrate their anniversary. She let staff members know she’d be returning to work that Tuesday (April 26), where she was greeted with applause from the audience members.
Ripa’s been a part of the ABC family since 1990, when she appeared on All My Children. She became a co-host on Live! in 2001, where she co-hosted with Regis Philbin until his retirement in 2011.