HOLLYWOOD—NFL star and TV personality Michael Strahan will be exiting his co-hosting gig on “Live! With Kelly and Michael” after signing a deal with Disney to become a full-time anchor on the ABC morning show “Good Morning America” in September. Strahan revealed the news to Kelly Ripa and executive producer of the show Michael Gelman on Tuesday.
According to TMZ, Ripa and Gelman were “stunned and upset” at the news. Strahan has held hosting duties on the show for more than four years, after filling the seat that was once owned by Regis Philbin, back in 2012. According to the Hollywood Reporter, since Strahan joined the show, viewership has risen. The show averages 3.97 million viewers. More than 900,000 of the series viewers are women between the ages of 25-54.
According to reports, Strahan’s co-host Kelly Ripa was kept in the dark about her co-worker’s resignation. Ripa did not appear on Wednesday’s episode, which have caused reports to surface of ongoing tension between the two celebrities. Ripa won’t be back on the show till next Tuesday. According to a statement released by ABC, Ripa had a previously scheduled vacation for Friday and Monday. “Dancing With the Stars” co-host Erin Andrews will fill-in on Thursday and Friday, while “Pretty Little Liars” star Shay Mitchell will co-host with Michael on Monday.
Ripa was seen with 59 different guest hosts, after Philbin left the show. Such hosts included her husband Mark Consuelos, friend Andy Cohen, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris and many others.
Regis announced his retirement 10 months prior to officially leaving. According to reports, Strahan’s contract is expected to yield an eight-figure payday. Currently, “GMA” yields around 5 million viewers daily. Hosts for the show include Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer who are all expected to remain with the morning show.
“Michael has been a stellar addition to the broadcast. Over the past two years on ‘GMA,’ he’s proven to be a tireless and versatile broadcaster with an incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans to American pop culture icons and newsmakers,” said James Goldston, president of ABC News, in a memo to staff sent this morning. “He will end a four year run as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on ‘Live!,’ where he has honed his skills as an interviewer with genuine warmth and a quick wit. At ‘GMA,’ he’ll now have even more opportunities to tell stories that inspire, inform and empower people.”
Strahan got the opportunity to co-host with Roberts during ABC’s Oscars night pre-coverage. No word has been released when or who the replacement will be will be for Strahan.