The drama surrounding the morning situation at ABC continues to snowball after the network announced Tuesday that “Live with Kelly and Michael” co-host Michael Strahan will be jumping full time to “Good Morning America” in the fall.
What had been a dull roar in the media following the announcement grew a lot louder today after “Live’s” Kelly Ripa failed to show up for work this morning and reports began swirling that the ABC mainstay had been “blindsided” by the news and was “livid” about the network’s handling of the situation.
Now some media outlets are reporting that the events of this week may mean the end is in sight for “Live.” And many are speculating about when Ripa might return to the show.
E! News quotes media expert Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” telling the publication today that Ripa, who has been with the show for 15 years, is “beyond angry.” Says Stelter: “It’s unclear if she’ll back tomorrow or the rest of the week. There’s conflicting information on whether she’ll return to work on Thursday or Friday, with some people in Hollywood and New York convinced she will not come back to work.”
Stelter adds: “It’s clear this is a botched transition by ABC.”
People magazine says of “Live!”: “After decades on the air, the popular syndicated talk show is in a tailspin following Strahan’s exit announcement, a source tells People.” The report cites a source saying the Strahan move appears to be a network-orchestrated effort to bolster “GMA” in its ongoing ratings fight with NBC’s “Today.”
The People report quotes a network source saying: “‘GMA’ has been in freefall — their show has been number one for four years, and ‘GMA’ was freaking out because ‘Today’ is getting better and getting younger fans, and therefore they moved Michael because they are trying to close the gap with a younger demographic.”
People notes that “Live!,” being syndicated, is also a money generator. But the report adds: “The source notes that despite ‘Live!’ bringing in big dollars, Ripa, 45, isn’t wrong to think that ABC might be ready to move on from the show: ‘Company executives have wanted to extend ‘GMA’ to a third hour for years — fixated on it, really.'”