I started watching Live with Regis and Kathie Lee about 26 years ago. Back in the VCR day, if I was going to miss it, I would tape it. When Kathie Lee announced she was leaving, there were lots of auditions for her seat. Kelly Ripa was definitely the best though. She was very funny and had a great rapport with Regis. It was sad when Regis left the show. After auditioning many co-hosts, Michael Strahan, a former football player, took over. To be honest, I wasn't initially thrilled with the choice of Michael replacing 'Uncle Regis'. However, Michael has grown on me. I thought him and Kelly were pretty good together. Some reports say Michael and Kelly have not gotten along very well for a while.
Over the years, the show itself has been pretty drama free. Well, that changed last week thanks to ABC. After last Tuesday's show, Kelly was told that Michael was leaving for a full-time position at Good Morning America starting in September. She was told just minutes before the official announcement was released. After working together for four years, Kelly was pretty upset that she hadn't been told by Michael himself sooner. She was completely blindsided. She took a sick day along with her previously scheduled vacation and was not on the show until today, a week later.
Kelly and Michael were all smiles and holding hands when they appeared on today's show. Kelly stood off to the side by herself and addressed what had happened. Basically, she was taken by surprise and needed time to think things over. She felt she deserved that time after being with ABC for 26 years. This was an issue with respect in the workplace. Apparently she has received an apology and been assured that Live is a priority. Here's the link to the airing. The show carried on as normal and I thought things were back to normal. Wrong!
A statement was just released saying Michael's last day has moved up dramatically. His last air date is May 13! Enough time for May sweeps, a send off and new co-host auditions.
As for my two cents, I'm fine with Michael leaving. However Kelly should have been told before everyone else. Kelly does a fantastic job and will continue doing so no matter who her co-host is.