Kelly Ripa was not at the “Live with Kelly and Michael” desk on Wednesday morning as her co-host Michael Strahan broke the news to viewers that he will be leaving the show for “Good Morning America” as of September.
News of Strahan’s move was a surprise to the biz on Tuesday. There were reports that Ripa was unaware of the plan and unhappy in how the decision was handled.
A rep for “Live,” which is syndicated by Disney/ABC Domestic Television and produced out of WABC-TV New York, said Ripa “had the day off.” But it remained unclear if Ripa was previously scheduled to be off Wednesday or if her absence was a sign of protest. Actress Ana Gasteyer was Strahan’s guest co-host. A rep for Ripa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Strahan addressed his future at the top of the show. He thanked viewers for their support since he joined the show full-time in 2012 and he emphasized that he would be staying close by. “I’m always available to guest host if I get the call,” he said.