Michael Strahan is continuing to praise and thank Kelly Ripa after his shocking announcement that he’s leaving “Live! With Kelly And Michael” at the end of the summer. Ripa has yet to comment on the news, but Strahan gave her a nice shout-out on Thursday’s “Good Morning America.”
“I’m going to miss everybody at ‘Live!’” he said (via Us Weekly). “I’ve been sitting next to Kelly every day and having a lot of fun on that show the last four years. I’m very thankful to her because I’ve learned so much from her and [producer] Michael Gelman.”
He continued, “[They] showed me the ropes. I was so new to all of this and if it weren’t for her and if it weren’t for Michael Gelman and the staff there that really boosted me up and made me look a lot better than I really am, then, I never would have had a chance to be here. I’m grateful I’m here. We’re on the same network. I’m just right here a little bit earlier now. But we are on the same team, the same family, the same network.”
As previously reported, ABC announced Tuesday that Strahan was moving from “Live!” to work full-time at “Good Morning America,” where he currently appears twice a week. It’s believed that the switch won’t happen until the fall.
According to E! Online, Ripa is said to be “livid” over the former football player’s departure from their syndicated talk show because she found out at the last minute. “That was a network decision,” the source said, adding that Ripa and other staff members were kept in the dark because they didn’t want the news to leak. “It wasn’t an overnight decision and took some time to put it in place.”
The source also said Strahan, 44, didn’t have a say in leaving. “He’s not the boss. He is an employee of the network.”
Ripa has not been back on “Live!” since Strahan’s announcement. ABC has lined up guest co-hosts to fill in and confirmed that she won’t return to the show until Tuesday. The 45-year-old veteran daytime host was seen Thursday leaving her condo with husband Mark Consuelos. Even though paparazzi bombarded Ripa with questions about Strahan, she remained silent.