Kelly Ripa was noticeably absent on Wednesday morning (April 20) from her perch next to Michael Strahan on their popular morning talk show. While she was absent, the 44-year-old former Giants defensive end had to announce his surprising departure from the show next to guest co-host Ana Gasteyer. James Goldston, president of ABC News, revealed Strahan’s move just yesterday.
After four years as a co-host on the popular morning talk show Live with Kelly and Michael, media personality Michael Strahan will be leaving in September to join the team at Good Morning America, a program to which he has contributed part-time since 2014. He will also stay on as co-host of NFL on Fox.
While still rated first overall among the major network morning shows, including Today (NBC) and CBS This Morning, the addition of Strahan is a strategic move to regain and retain the crucial 25-to 54-year-old demographic among viewership which has declined 10% from last year.
According to Deadline, the current season of Live “is the No. 1 entertainment daytime talk show in households (2.9 rating) and among women 25-54 (1.4 rating-tie), and which, overall, is second among syndicated talkers only to Dr. Phil.” That such a strong daytime program would have the rug pulled out, plus Kelly Ripa’s current silence regarding the announcement, is fueling the social-media fire surrounding Disney’s decision.
Page Six referenced a source as saying “The plan was for there to be more time between telling Kelly and the announcement. But the story leaked, the timeline got crunched.” With Strahan leaving Live this summer, a search for Kelly Ripa’s new co-host will undoubtedly be showcased when the show returns in the fall. CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Bravo’s Andy Cohen are among potential replacements, but after the lengthy search in 2011-12 when Regis Philbin retired that selected Strahan, this looks to be an interesting process throughout the latter half of 2016.