On the second day of shockers surrounding the ABC morning mainstay “Live with Kelly and Michael,” co-host Kelly Ripa was a no-show this morning, one day after news broke that her co-host, Michael Strahan, is leaving the program. Ripa’s absence sparked a number of rumors, with E! News reporting that Ripa was “livid” about the handling of Strahan’s exit.
The E! News story reports that Ripa was “blindsided” by Tuesday’s announcement, getting word at about the same time that it went public. “About an hour after ‘Live! with Kelly and Michael’ aired Monday, an internal memo at ABC revealed he would be leaving the show by summer’s end to work on ‘Good Morning America’ full time,” E! News reports. “His co-host, Kelly Ripa, did not receive a heads up. In fact, E! News has learned that executives broke the news to her just after the show finished taping — around the same time everyone else first heard about it. ‘She was livid,’ a source says exclusively. ‘It wasn’t pretty.'”
Strahan appeared on this morning’s show with “Saturday Night Live” alumna Ana Gasteyer at his side, and offered little explanation, saying simply: “Kelly’s off today, and filling in for Kelly is Ana Gasteyer.” He then briefly discussed his upcoming move to “GMA.”
The New York Daily News put it this way: “Kelly Ripa left her co-host Michael Strahan hanging Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after he apparently ambushed her with news he’d be leaving their show for ‘Good Morning America.’”
The plan calls for Strahan to stay with “Live” through August and make the move in September to “GMA,” where he has been doing guest spots for some time.
The Daily News adds: “Strahan’s slight makes Ripa twice scorned by her TV husbands: Regis Philbin, who co-hosted alongside her until 2011, dropped the bomb that he’d be leaving just 15 minutes before they went on air, according to a TMZ report. He informed the live audience shortly afterward.”
Meanwhile, speculation has begun about who will replace Strahan as Ripa’s co-host. Among the names that are already circulating are Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Cohen and Mark Consuelos, Ripa’s husband.
Here’s a clip posted by the show this morning in which Strahan, alongside fill-in co-host Gasteyer, officially announces his plans to the “Live with Kelly and Michael” audience.