Kelly Ripa may have been blindsided when Michael Strahan announced he was leaving Live with Kelly and Michael for a full-time gig on Good Morning America back in April, but she certainly had a hand in forcing him to leave the morning talk show earlier than he and executive producers anticipated.
In this week’s upcoming issue of People, Ripa told the magazine that she and her staff had to begin their search for Strahan’s replacement ASAP and that’s why his last day on Live will be this Friday — four months earlier than previously announced.
“What we’ve explained to them is, ‘Well, if you had asked us, we would have told you, Guys, we need to start looking, because we have summer hiatus, we have vacation time. We need to find people. If we’re going to have this list narrowed down at least to a manageable size by the fall, we need to start now.”
While Ripa and her staff, who she calls her “family,” search for Strahan’s replacement, she’ll have several male guest hosts filling in including Jimmy Kimmel on Monday, Jussie Smollett, Cedric the Entertainer, David Muir, Daniel Dae Kim, and possibly Anderson Cooper.
As his nearly four years on Live quickly come to a close this week, Strahan will start his co-anchoring job on GMA this September.