Michael Strahan is leaving ‘Live’ May 13th, not September as planned

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Kelly Ripa made her return to Live yesterday and opened with an emotional, somewhat revealing speech in which she essentially confirmed all the stories she’d been leaking to the press during her absence. (We covered the details here yesterday.) She was open and genuine about the fact that she’d needed to take some time to regroup following the abrupt news that Michael was leaving. She also called her workplace a “second home” and a “family” and said that “apologies have been made” to her regarding the way she was informed of Michael’s new position. People reported that Kelly wasn’t nervous to come back and “was actually quite confident.”

Along with apologizing to Kelly, it sounded like executives had promised her, in a roundabout way, that the show would stay on the air. She said “Our parent company has assured me that Live is a priority. There is a commitment to this show.” It looks like that commitment is going to be tested sooner rather than later, because Michael Strahan just announced that he’s leaving on May 13th, not September as he first announced. An ABC press release states that the decision was made between executives at Live and Good Morning America, where Strahan will be an anchor, and that both Kelly and Michael were consulted. (I would assume not at the same time given what we’ve heard and the way this is worded.)

Michael Strahan — who was originally expected to depart Live for Good Morning America in September — will now vacate his post May 13.

“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,” a show spokeswoman told EW. “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.”

[From Entertainment Weekly]

I guess this isn’t surprising given all the drama but you really couldn’t tell there were any hard feelings by the way they interacted with each other on the show yesterday. It seemed at some points like Kelly was avoiding looking at Michael directly, but that’s just me nitpicking. They did look each other in the eye and they acted completely normal around each other. I guess they have a lot of practice doing that. Michael even told Kelly he loved her and called her the “Queen of morning television.

There are a bunch of other stories about Kelly’s return. The news was leaked ahead of Kelly’s return yesterday that she got a personal apology from ABC executives, who apologized to her agents as well. Sources also confirmed to CNN that not telling Kelly was part of the plan because “she would be disappointed by the news no matter when she was told.” Executives have since acknowledged that was a mistake.

Despite stories claiming that Kelly makes $15 million a year, the editor of The Hollywood Reporter told CNN that Kelly makes $20 million. It’s also unknown if she’ll re-up her contract when it comes up for renewal, which is thought to be “later this year or sometime next year.”

Here’s Kelly’s return speech in case you haven’t seen it yet.

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85 Responses to “Michael Strahan is leaving ‘Live’ May 13th, not September as planned”

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  1. Sam says:

    She did a great job with that speech. And Michael telling her he loved her was that typical hollywood “I love you” BS. I definitely sensed some tension, but they did a good job being professional about it.

    • Boston Green Eyes says:

      It sounded like a “soothing” comment made to a petulant child to calm her down.

      • lisa2 says:

        So when she said they were proud and happy for him. Was that BS too.

        I think it is best that he leave. And that his exit is happening soon.

      • Miss M says:

        Lisa: I don’t think her tone of voice was of someone happy for a co-worker… “I’m thrilled for you” sounded contrived. Her friends, like Cohen, saying Michael’s move to GMA was not a good one, sure seems she was not happy for him.

      • tealily says:

        Yeah, and that comment about how “she would be disappointed by the news no matter when she was told,” sounds like they put off telling her as long and they possibly could because they knew she would have a nasty reaction do something stupid like stop showing up for work. I think we just got our answer as to why she wasn’t more involved in the process.

      • Original T.C. says:

        Well she has revealed herself to be a special FRAGILE and SENSITIVE snowflake, pretty sure everyone around the show will be walking on glass and giving her positive Disneyesque statements. I avoid people like that at work like the plague.

        She could barely look Michael in the eyes as she claimed to be happy for him and had her opening monologue.

        Usually if you need a moment to recover from something emotional, you call up your employer and tell them what’s going on. You don’t just not come in or fake being sick. #maturity

    • iheartgossip says:

      It funny how many people saw things entirely differently. I guess it depends up on the person. I didn’t see what you saw, but I read your interpretation with interest.

    • holly hobby says:

      Bellamy Young was the guest yesterday and she told US Weekly that there was definitely tension on the set. So they are good bull$hitters. US Weekly also had an article on Kathie Lee and she said no matter what happens behind the scenes, you should always be professional. So interpret that what you will.

  2. Denisemich says:

    couldn’t tell if there were hard feelings? What about the article Michael leaked yesterday afternoon to People? He said she acted like a crazy person.

    • Boston Green Eyes says:

      Hell hath no fury, etc.

    • Rachel says:

      I worked from home yesterday morning, so I turned it on to see what happened. It was SOOOO awkward. To me, it felt like Kelly was barely putting forth any effort to act like there were no hard feelings. You could tell there are a LOT of hard feelings. It’s probably best for the audience that he takes off early. Because that just made me uncomfortable.

  3. Sue says:

    I would be curious to know if Kelly has anyone else approaching her to do any other shows. I know she does commercials. If not, I am sure she will be renewing her contract.

    • Sarah(too) says:

      She’s going to be butt hurt enough to ditch a $20 million contract? I can’t even imagine. Kelly Ripa was a mediocre daytime soap actress until Regis plucked her from AMC to fill Kathy Lee’s seat. Now, hopefully she has saved and invested well. She’s certainly done much better with this than I thought she would 15 years ago. But still…..she’s Kelly Ripa. And she makes $20 million. I would keep making the $20 million.

      As for Michael’s early exit, my theory is that this was part of the negotiation. One of Kelly’s early “leaks” indicated that she couldn’t imagine sitting next to him doing the show as normal for months until he left. Well, now she only has to suck it up for a couple of weeks.

      • mee says:

        What is unclear is why she wanted him off earlier, if he wasn’t really to blame for not telling her. He was just keeping it quiet as told to. She should be mad at the network executives, but I don’t get why she was mad at him- except that apparently she already wasn’t getting along with him.. That part makes her seem petulant

      • Colette says:

        TMZ claims they have gotten along for awhile and HE wanted to leave earlier to get away from her as soon as possible.

    • holly hobby says:

      Her side is telling US Weekly that she will walk away if the producers don’t pick Andy Cohen or Anderson Cooper as permanent hosts. US also pointed out that that is impossible because both are contractually bound to other networks (Bravo & CNN respectively). I can’t see Cohen leaving Bravo, as much as he pitched Strahan to stay on Live, because he has more clout with Comcast. It’s also career suicide for Cooper since he’s taken for a real journalist as opposed to a daytime celeb.

      • benchwarmer says:

        I agree with you that Anderson Cooper is considered a real journalist and doesn’t seem a good fit to me. I could see Andy Cohen but I wonder if that’s overexposure almost like Ryan Seacrest to me is overexposed. Can’t they just find someone new who is funny and with it?

  4. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I thought she came across as the petty little brat she is. I watched the speech at the endoscopy center before my procedure yesterday, and I think she is unprofessional, spoiled and has a grossly inflated view of her own importance. My husband watched the rest of the show, as he was my driver, and he said I got the better deal of the day. He had no idea who she was, but he said she was the most self-absorbed person he had ever seen, and was acting like a victim of some huge tragedy. He couldn’t believe it when I told him what had actually happened.

    • Katie says:

      I thought her speech was petty, too. It was something she should have said to Michael in a private setting and not done the passive aggressive “calling out”. I think her frustration and disappointment are completely valid but she didn’t take the high road with her presentation of her dirty laundry.

    • Emma - The JP Lover says:

      @GoodNamesAllTaken …

      I hope your procedure went well. :)

    • Esmom says:

      Hi GoodNames, hope all went well and that you’re back to feeling like yourself. As for Kelly, I’m no fan of the show, I’ve never actually watched it but I do have a soft spot for her from her AMC days, but I feel like you could be describing the majority of Hollywood. Spoiled, check. Grossly inflated view of her own importance, check. Self-absorbed, check. No perspective whatsoever in that bubble.

    • Nancy says:

      GNAT: 100. Lol, your husband said you got the better deal of the day….lol….hope it went well.

    • Erinn says:

      I’ve always found her incredibly grating and insincere.

      I said this the other day as well, but I honestly don’t think she’s the kind of pull she thinks she is. Ten years ago, there would be shows jumping to acquire her – now? Does anyone even care? I think she’s going to have to think up something pretty different if she wants a new hosting gig, because Kelly sitting around talking isn’t something most people really care for. It’s a morning show, and honestly there’s not much on in the mornings. Women are just as likely tuning in for Michael as they are Kelly – I don’t care if her name comes first. They just shuffle the names around everytime someone is hired or leaves. She doesn’t MAKE the show. Anyone could sit around chatting.

      Also – I hope the endoscopy went alright, GNAT!

    • lisa says:

      ITA gnat

      i wasn’t expecting the gettysburg address but i thought it was cringeworthy

      she is self absorbed, fake and unprofessional

    • Miss M says:

      I completely agree!!!!!!!!! She has earned the right of what? To know her co-host is negotiating his contract to another show? a co-host she doesn’t like?
      I didn’t feel she was genuine when she said she was happy for him. I felt his “I love you” was true (and her “are you serious?” reaction was priceless), but didn’t come as genuine because there is tension between them and I think it comes form her. I loved left the door open for his return: “If you need me, I will come back” Hahaha
      Her father is right. They are crazy, but I think his daughter is the crazier (and entitled) of all…
      Talk about inflated ego!

      ps: She did all this stunt because she thought the show was getting cancelled. That’s all.

    • JudyK says:

      I was at the doctor’s office yesterday, too, and missed this, so I just watched the clip above. GNAT, “petty little brat” says it all…what a self-important production that was. Too much.

      GNAT, hope you are doing well. :)

      • EM says:

        GNAT – you’ve hit on the head. I wasn’t going to tune in but saw the DM pictures of her heading to the “office” (her sucking on a lemon face) and decided to watch. She really played the victim card and I find that incredibly offensive.

        I also think that she pushed Michael out earlier since it is consistent with the leaks that she would not return until he left. Even more petty.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Thanks, everybody. The procedures went well and they found the source of my anemia, which was the main goal, so I’m very lucky.

      • The Original G says:

        Good to hear it, GNAT. I was thinking of you at my desk, yesterday. Funny, how you can develop feelings for people you don’t really know?

      • Miss M says:

        Glad to hear it, GNAT!

      • antipodean says:

        Kelly, Shmelly, hurrah, GNAT’s back! In one piece, and better than ever! We missed you yesterday, but good to hear you are doing well, and your procedure was a success. Hope you continue to feel better, and go from strength to strength. I bet you enjoyed your first solid meal for days!

      • Magnoliarose says:

        Glad to hear you got some answers about your anemia. Your above post is everything I think too.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        You are all so sweet to me, and I agree with The Original G that you can feel real friendship with people you only know on here and have never met. This site makes me think and laugh and sometimes even cry. I’m grateful to have found it, and all of you. ❤️

      • Izzy says:

        Hurrah, they’ve found the answer! Glad to hear it. And I didn’t see Kelly’s speech, but if an endoscopy was better… well, I can only imagine how bad the speech was!

    • I’ve never been a fan of hers. She’s vapid, not funny and a terrible actress. Not exactly sure why she has such an inflated sense of her own self-importance. It’s a fluffy, morning, entertainment, show. It’s not saving lives and she’s not some crack journalist scoring amazing interviews. If I were her, I’d thank my lucky stars to have a job that pays such a ridiculous amount of money & hoarded & invested it for when sh*t like this happens in show business where nobody owes you anything & this stuff always happens. Maybe that’s what irks me about her behavior. There’s a slew of people who can do Kelly’s job, and a lot better. She’s not Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Walter Cronkite. She’s not an original & has no discernible talent. Sure it sucks that the network execs didn’t tell her until the last second but they don’t owe you anything. They’re the reason she has a job, not the other way around.

      • Esmom says:

        But that’s the problem with paying entertainers (and don’t even get me started on professional athletes) so many millions. It’s out of control and it does give them an inflated sense of importance. The vast majority of them anyway, I know some are capable of humility. I feel like we have created these monsters by placing so much importance on things that really, as you said, aren’t that important.

    • Dlo says:

      @gnat so happy for you! Many thoughts and prayers that everything will be good and you will be healthy

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      Hope it went well and I agree with you.

    • benchwarmer says:

      I hope your procedure went well. I agree with all of your sentiment. I don’t mean to sound like one of those people that say, ‘never let them see you sweat’ or like Kelly Cutrone who says ‘Cry outside’ or something along those lines, but that’s my take on professionalism and the workplace. It might seem like your second home, but it’s not, your home is your home, these people are not your family and always put on a happy face. I’d respect her so much more if she acted like she could care less. Unless people are cruel at work what’s the big deal who sits in the chair next to you? You’re making 20 million for that for crying out loud, get perspective!

  5. NewWester says:

    My conspiracy theory about this: Kelly was pissed that goes without saying and that Michael was leaving in May. But over the weekend the suits at ABC/Disney contacted her with the news that a new co host( someone that Kelly is thrilled to work with) has signed a contract .
    Now the producers can do the whole “searching for a co host” parade on the show for the next few months until the show goes on hiatus for the summer. The new co host most likely can not start until September due to other obligations and the execs want to have a fresh start in the fall.
    Kelly was blindsided, but I would bet money there have been quiet talks with someone else when Michael agreed to move to Good Morning America.

    • The Original G says:

      How about, over the week-end, their lawyers contacted her to remind her that she was under contract and she probably has a personal conduct clause in it as well?

      They agreed to let her explain herself and pulled Michael off the show, to keep him protected from this drama, and when her contract comes up later this year or early next, they’ll find a place for her in the new line-up?

      Honestly, who would want to be her permanent co-host? Maybe Andy Cohen? He thinks it’s such a great job…

      • tealily says:


      • Magnoliarose says:

        Lol Yep.

      • Dlo says:

        Personally I hope ABC does not renew her contract. This show is starting to be as stale and tiresome as the view. Someone needs to come up with a new idea

      • The Original G says:

        My feeling, Dlo, is that there will be a whole new morning line-up.

      • holly hobby says:

        I think your scenario is plausible. I don’t think ABC cares and they probably threw the liability book at her. Her sources leaked to US that she would only continue if ABC gets Anderson Cooper or Andy Cohen to cohost. That’s a pie in the sky dream because both are contractually bound to their networks and they have better prospects at their current job than with Live.

      • The Original G says:

        She was carrying Anderson’s new book, “The Rainbow Comes and Goes,” on her pap walk yesterday morning.

        As if.

      • perplexed says:

        I don’t like Andy Cohen as a choice, maybe because he seems so…gossip-y? Not sure if that’s a descriptor that makes sense, but huh at that choice.

  6. als says:

    Why should there be tension between the two of them on this issue? If they had a fallout before this moment it’s their business but this story happened between Kelly and the ABC execs.

    In spite of all the stories going around I never once got the impression Kelly expected apologies or consideration from Strahan. However, Strahan kept mentioning that he was trying to contact her. Dude, why? Strahan was trying to come out of this with flying colors without understanding that the bosses that seem to adore him behaved horribly to Ripa.
    He still doesn’t get what happened, that it was never about him.

    • swak says:

      But everyone was blaming him for not telling her. Inspite of the fact that he was told not to tell anyone.

    • holly hobby says:

      Exactly Swak. Even on this board people were blaming Strahan for something he was contractually bound not to disclose.

  7. Neelyo says:

    The speech seems a bit much as well as the audience reaction. She was gone for how many days? You’d think she’d almost died or something.

    This ‘scandal’ however, has resuscitated LIVE for a few weeks so good for them.

  8. abby says:

    Pure power play on her part.

    Whatever. I don’t watch the show. Did not watch it yesterday for her so called “triumphant” return and I won’t start now.

    Best to them both.

  9. noway says:

    This whole performance is as expected, and I am sure she isn’t 100% convinced ABC is backing and investing in Live, neither am I for that matter. In fairness to her, this stunt may have saved her show and the people who work there for a while at least, because the fans who watch the show showed up to support it. I think this may have been a signal they are looking to replace it with offering an extra hour of GMA, a la Hoda and Kathie Lee on Today. Networks are notorious for copying each other as original ideas are hard to come by in television at least as far as the executives are concerned.

    Also, with the negative comments, be honest you just don’t like either her or him. If you just dropped out of the sky and didn’t know the gossip and somehow was a person who liked mindless banter talk shows, you wouldn’t notice the “tension.” The monologue was meant for the diehard fans. The people who just drop in to see the gossip aren’t their audience anyway and wouldn’t like it. They honestly did a pretty good job faking friendship if the gossip is to be believed.

    • Dhavynia says:

      @noway-well stated
      I saw some people that were part of the audience being interviewed and they stated that during the breaks they did not see any animosity between them so who knows

      • noway says:

        I don’t think they are really good friends, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were far more work friendly than the gossip is letting on. I think she was far more angry with the network than Michael.

    • perplexed says:

      Despite the “tension”, it seems they still have a good rapport on air. I was shocked. I don’t know if what has been leaked by both sides will be forgotten, but when it comes to acting cheery despite a heated argument days before they’re both pretty good at it! I don’t watch them on a regular basis every day, so maybe that’s why it was hard for me to tell something was going on?

  10. Christin says:

    If I heard correctly (based on a snippet shown on a news show later in the day), she mentioned her driver said it was all ridiculous.

    Team Driver.

    • Mel says:

      Actually it’s her dad. She said he’d been a bus driver for over thirty years and thought they “were all crazy”. I couldn’t agree more!

      • Christin says:

        Thank you for clarifying. I’m “Team Dad”, the voice of reason in this silly dispute.

  11. Sarah01 says:

    All her drama worked she’s saying if he’s going to leave he can leave asap.
    I feel bad for Micheal, I hope him much success in the future.
    Kelly has always wanted her her husband to host, you can tell in way she brings it when he’s there.
    I haven’t watched Live in ages but started to watch here and there when Micheal came. I won’t be watching again.
    The only positive in this situation is that a woman is making good money, the feminist in me likes that!

    • noway says:

      Yes a woman making good money is great, but it bothers me that if this was reversed he wouldn’t get the same crap. Let’s be honest, I have had this happen as a manager, when something unexpected or bad happens at work people take off for a few days. Especially when you have to present or seem like a team player when you just aren’t feeling it at that moment. In fact many times, I have told the employee to take a few days off just to give them time. I wouldn’t be surprised if the bosses didn’t insist on this as it might be noticeable to the audience she was upset or tension between the co-hosts. This is why I don’t understand why they just didn’t wait the two days for her scheduled vacation. Would 48 hours made that much of a difference?

      Only conclusion, they did this on purpose, probably to illicit the fan reaction. They are smart media savvy people they knew what they were doing. All happens right around May sweeps too, how odd. I wouldn’t worry about Michael too much. The five co-hosts thing on GMA may be a bit of a problem, but the money is good and he’ll get a chance, plus he is a great sports guy too.

  12. Gg says:

    Knew it!! Everyone was defending the suits saying there’s still 4 months. Nope! The suits are cruel and they move fast, don’t forget.

    • holly hobby says:

      Because she demanded that he be gone or else she wasn’t coming back. That was one of the demands and ABC gave into it so she would report to work. That was one of the first leaks to TMZ from her camp.

  13. The Original G says:

    Her plucky spitfire routine fell flat for me, but maybe her target demo liked it. Unfortunately, I think the network wants a refresh on their morning audience as well as their morning line-up. This show seems so “old” to me and I’m not young…..

    ABC has a such a commitment to this lame duck show that jumped the shark that they just pulled their new GMA talent out of? Sure, in some way shape or form, some version of this hour will go forward. I don’t think a round of auditioning co-hosts will enliven this show or heal the wound here. It’s killed The View.

    BTW, WHERE is her representation? They have done a crappy job for her.

  14. Janie says:

    I wasn’t at all surprised by her snotty, nasty attitude yesterday. I felt sorry for Michael, at least he tried to appease her. It doesn’t matter anymore, her fate is sealed. GMA is moving into that time spot in September with Michael. Who really won here? I will never watch the show again.

    • iheartgossip says:

      I think the entire crew, or as she said ‘family’ spends their days appeasing her. She doesn’t seem very fluid in her dealings. Her way or the highway

  15. Skins says:

    Its not a “family” Kelly, it is a business, and the minute your ratings tank you will be gone.

    • perplexed says:

      He said it was a family too, I think, when interviewed about the situation. Those words seemed to be used frequently by the people at ABC. I always see the term “ABC Family.” Maybe it’s a thing at their network.

    • Esmom says:

      Eh, I’ve worked at numerous places — corporate and non-profit — where management and staff refer to the company and co-workers as “family.” People do get close, too close, sometimes, imo. She’s far from the only one to frame her workplace in such a way, especially in this 24/7 age where people seem to be tethered to their jobs more than ever.

  16. iheartgossip says:

    Well Kelly darling, the cat is out of the bag. I don’t see you overcoming this mess. You didn’t handle it well when ALL the world was your stage. Sorry

  17. happy girl says:

    I sincerely don’t get the fuss about Michael Strahan. There is absolutely nothing outstanding about him whatsoever. He tries hard, but, really, he’s nothing. I can feel his insecurity through the television. NEXT!

    • Magnoliarose says:

      He was enough to increase the ratings of the show by 30 percent and that can be directly correlated to his arrival. She can’t do it alone,

      • perplexed says:

        The format is such that no one can do it alone, though.

        I figured the ratings went up because Regis was so boring with all his Notre-Dame- this and Notre-Dame- that talk.

  18. me says:

    I just find it hard to feel sorry for her. She was almost in tears while saying her “speech” and I still didn’t care. Yes, they should have told her in advance. I can see her being upset, but damn girl this is over the top ! She must live a really easy life if something like this is what makes her explode. Most of us have dealt with being treated like sh*t by bosses and co-workers, at least I have…and while make wayyyyy less money than she does.

  19. TreadStyle says:

    She annoys the heck out of me. I’m surprised she would want another co host, she’s so me me me! She cuts people off and just wants everyone to laugh at her stories the whole time. I just can’t even watch her.

  20. Ole says:

    ratings people, ratings.

  21. Dana says:

    I missed this yesterday but the sounds of it at least on radio and online – it sounded like Kelly was restraining her ire… and most said it was very tense between the two. Forced kindness and Kelly was not comfortable, and at one point when Michael said he’d come back whenever she needed it she gasped for air… lol. His date shift says it all. Unfortunate this was handled so poorly because now everyone looks sketch and petty. Good luck to them both.

  22. Aubrey says:

    So she explains why she deserves to walk out of work and we are supposed to care?

    • perplexed says:

      To be fair, she explained this on a talk show that has her name on it, not at a random press conference aired on CNN.

  23. april says:

    So if it was the other way around and Kelly left the show for a better opportunity, would Michael Strahan have acted the same way? I doubt it.

  24. Therese says:

    I really loved them together, and was watching it more before this. Surprised that so many don’t care for Kelly. I think she is a professional. I would be upset if someone I championed and my company didn’t include me in the talks, and slapped me with it along with the rest of the world. It occurs to me that she loved Michael too and was very hurt not to be told. I really like Michael, but I’m on her side too. I support anyone, especially a woman, for having firm boundaries and speaking up for herself. There’s not a thing wrong or spoiled with teaching people how we expect to be treated. It is very healthy and straightforward. And as she highlighted in her talk, a lot was said and learned about communication and respect. I could tell that she had a lot of feelings about what happened, and she is entirely entitled to and justified in her feelings. A woman isn’t bitchy, delicate and difficult to say, no, you can’t disrespect me. I think she has major backbone. I knew she wouldn’t let anyone run her over. Good job. I would REALLY love to have heard EVERYTHING that has gone on. Maybe she will write a memoir someday, and I can get the scoop.

  25. GinGia says:

    Pay me the mill’s to talk with him. His handsome self sure is easy on the eye.

  26. Kimbers says:

    Ya i think you’re right. ..michael is ok but Disney/abc is putting all their eggs in his basket and that’s setting him up to fail. I think they were gonna team him with laura and have them do a diffefent version of Live for GmA. Gma isnt for me. I like charlie in the morning and Live later when i can watch/get reception.

    *professional traveling thru usa