Ripa teased the news to come with a short video distributed on her social media platforms Sunday afternoon. “We’re going to need a bigger mug,” Ripa wrote. The video depicted Ripa sitting from an extra-large coffee mug with emblazoned with “Live with Kelly & ?”
Ripa’s search for a new co-host began this time last year when Strahan left the Disney-distributed syndicated show after four years to become a permanent anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Ripa was caught off guard by the news and did not hide her anger at her bosses. She sat out the show for four days, and addressed the situation with viewers live on air when she returned on April 26, 2016.
Ripa said she felt that after 26 years with the Walt Disney Co. and 15 years as the cornerstone of “Live,” she’d earned the right be in the loop on management’s plans for Strahan. In her emotional five-minute statement, Ripa asserted that the silver lining to the flap was that her protest “started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace.”
Strahan formally bowed out on May 13. Since then, Ripa has had a steady stream of guest co-hosts on the show, which has maintained strong ratings despite the host shuffle. “Live” airs at 9 a.m. in most markets are typically beats the third hour of NBC’s “Today” in major markets.
Sources said Ripa’s new a.m. partner will not be any of her most frequent guest hosts during the past year. That would seem to rule out Fred Savage, Jerry O’Connell, Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper.