Kelly Ripa has yet to choose a permanent co-host to join her on “Live! With Kelly” months after her previous partner Michael Strahan’s exit from the show. In April, Ripa had been “blindsided” by Strahan’s abrupt departure, and ABC’s head is now admitting that the network made “mistakes” in handling the situation back then.
After hosting “Live! With Kelly and Michael for four years, Strahan abruptly announced his exit from the daytime talk show in April after scoring a co-anchor gig on “Good Morning America.” Ripa was reportedly “blindsided” by his departure, an insider told Entertainment Tonight, which led her to boycott her own TV show.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney/ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood said that he’s reflected on how things went down back then. “I have most definitely thought about it, and I think that enough has been said about it,” he said, admitting that they mishandled the situation. This made things tense and awkward between Ripa and Strahan for several weeks on “Live!”
“We made some mistakes,” he told the publication, before adding, “we fixed them quickly and we moved on.”
Despite everything, Sherwood said that he’s confident about the future of the talk show. “The show is in great shape. Kelly is in a great place, the hunt for a new co-host is underway, the excitement is building, and I believe the future of that show is bright,” he explained. But if there’s one thing he’s learned from the whole fiasco, it’s that “more communication is better.”
Meawhile, Ripa is still looking for a co-host to take over Strahan’s vacated spot. Most were expecting the big announcement last week, but she’s apparently decided to continue co-hosting “Live!” with celebrity guests and put off finding a new permanent partner. “They’re not in a hurry to make a decision [on a permanent co-host] anymore,” an insider told ET last week.
Ripa, who was promoted to executive producer of her talk show last month, will reportedly announce her new “Live! With Kelly” co-host in November.