Kelly Ripa absent from 'Live' following announcement of Strahan's departure
Michael Strahan says he'll always be 'available to guest co-host'
NEW YORK – Kelly Ripa was noticeably absent from Wednesday's "Live with Kelly and Michael," where co-host Michael Strahan formally announced that he would be leaving the morning program to work full time at "Good Morning America."
"Kelly's off today," Strahan said. "I've been in the news lately ... I am leaving this show and I'm (going) to 'GMA' full time, which is going to happen in September."
Actress Ana Gasteyer filled in for Ripa on Wednesday, although her guest appearance was not promoted in advance.
Gossip websites, including TMZ, claimed that Ripa feels betrayed by Strahan and ABC's owner, Disney, because she wasn't told about the move until Tuesday.
TMZ reports that Strahan was ordered by Disney CEO Bob Iger not to tell anyone about his move to "GMA."
ABC said Tuesday that a search for Strahan's replacement will begin in the fall. The former New York Giant was selected in 2012 to replace Regis Philbin as Ripa's co-host on the talk show, which airs at 9 a.m. in most markets.
Strahan has worked a couple of days a week at "GMA" for the past two years, but he always has to leave midway through to head to the "Live with Kelly and Michael" studio on Manhattan's upper West Side.
Strahan thanked the staff at "Live with Kelly and Michael" and said he would always "be a part of this family."
"I'm always available to guest co-host," Strahan said. "I'm not going anywhere."
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