Most people would be happy if a coworker got a new opportunity, but I guess Kelly Ripa is not one of those people.
Kelly Ripa’s co-hosting stint with Michael Strahan on “Live! With Kelly and Michael” will soon come to an end, ABC revealed on Tuesday. Strahan, who joined Ripa as a permanent co-host in 2012 and has since been credited with a significant boost in the shows’ ratings, will leave for “Good Morning America” by the end of the summer – and Ripa is not happy about it.
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
“I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience,” Strahan said in a statement. “My time with LIVE with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet. Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans.”
According to E! News, Ripa only learned about Strahan’s departure an hour after the Tuesday program’s taping, essentially at the same time that everyone else in the network was informed. “She was livid,” a unnamed source told E! News. “It wasn’t pretty.” NY Daily News reported an inside source that Ripa threw a “fit” and “is acting like a child, a diva and hurting her reputation with this sort of behavior.”
Strahan apparently tried unsuccessfully to temper the bad news by attending the meeting with Ripa alongside network bosses. “He wanted to be there. He didn’t have to be, but he didn’t want to have her hear it and not be there,” a source told E! News. “He tried to do the stand up thing.”
Ripa, who joined Regis Philbin as a co-host in 2001 and had a similar impact on ratings at the time, was replaced on the Wednesday program by temporary host Ana Gasteyer. A spokeswoman for the show tried to quiet rumors that Ripa’s absence amounted to an angry protest against the show: “Kelly had the day off today,” she told CNNMoney, refusing to answer whether Ripa would appear on Thursday or Friday.
Strahan will stay on “Live! With Kelly and Michael” through August. Sources have claimed that Strahan did not have a choice in the matter, since he is merely an employee of the company and the move was dictated by network higher-ups.