Michael Strahan is officially a full time member of the “Good Morning America” team. After four years alongside Kelly Ripa on ABC’s “Live! With Kelly and Michael” (now called just “Live! With Kelly”), the former NFL player announced in April that he was jumping ship.
Strahan took four months for himself to enjoy summer and, as of Tuesday, he’s back in the daytime TV game. The “GMA” team welcomed Strahan with sweet messages on Twitter. The ABC series’ account shared a GIF of the ticker in New York City’s Times Square, which now features Strahan’s name. They added that it was “great” to have him on the show. Additionally, “GMA” sent out a video from an adorable little Michael Strahan — a tiny impersonator of sorts — in honor of his first day with the team full time.
When asked about his strained relationship with Ripa following his departure, Strahan, 44, declined to comment. Us Weekly was able to speak with the former football player in May during an event, questioning whether he and Ripa were really at odds. He told the publication there were “so many things” he loved about working on “Live!” He had nothing to say about rumors of a creative rift, however.
“I can’t,” he said. “Sorry.”
Strahan isn’t the only one with a new job title. Several months after her co-star left, Ripa received an exciting promotion. According to Page Six, the network named her executive producer of the syndicated morning show. The publication reports that the decision was made in an effort to mend fences following Strahan’s abrupt departure from the show.
The former “Live! With Kelly and Michael” co-host announced his departure during the April 20 broadcast of the show. Ripa, 45, was absent from the show during that episode and did not return to the show until April 26. At the time, Page Six reported that she did not see the announcement coming and felt betrayed by Strahan.
“There’s been a total Ripa meltdown,” one source said.
Despite reports that Ripa’s absence was due to Strahan’s departure, ABC staff assured Variety that her vacation was pre-scheduled. When she returned, Ripa addressed the loss of her co-host, telling fans that the “Live!” team has become her family over time, expressing a feeling of discontent with having been left out of the loop about the shakeup. Still, she said that the situation had created an environment that leant itself to more open conversations among the cast and crew as well as a newly established level of “respect.”
Ripa has not commented on her former co-star and longtime friend’s new gig.