In the latest twist in the debacle that has been ABC’s handling of the lineup change at “Live! with Kelly and Michael,” co-host Michael Strahan gave his two weeks’ notice Tuesday — the same day Kelly Ripa made an emotional return to the show.
Strahan’s exit had been set for September, when he will join “Good Morning America” full time. Instead, he will now make his last appearance on “Live” May 13.
Strahan will still join “GMA” in September, and he will reportedly continue to fill in occasionally at “GMA” in the interim.
“The move comes after Kelly Ripa flew into a rage after she was informed that Strahan was leaving the show less than an hour before the press release went out last week,” The New York Post’s Page Six reports. “Insiders told Page Six that Ripa and Strahan’s relationship had already been strained before this drama, and now, ‘While they will be civil on air, things are beyond repair.’”
The early front-runner in the search for a replacement for Strahan at “Live” is said to be CNN fixture Anderson Cooper.
ABC released a statement confirming the Strahan plans. “After meeting with the producers of both ‘Live’ and ‘Good Morning America,’ and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future,” the network said. “To that end, Michael’s last day on ‘Live’ will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host.
“This plan also allows ‘GMA’ to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September.”