Thursday morning’s Live with Kelly and Michael was once again without co-host Kelly Ripa, who ABC now confirms will not be back on the morning show until Tuesday at the earliest, with Friday and Monday described as a “pre-scheduled vacation.”
Michael Strahan, whose announcement he would leave the show for a full-time role at ABC’s Good Morning America reportedly caught Ripa and her team by surprise, didn’t touch on Ripa’s absence or her reported anger at how the GMA move was handled by Disney executives, who kept the decision quiet until just before releasing the news to the public.
The New York Times reports Thursday there is “rancor behind the scenes” at ABC, with Ripa feeling “blindsided,” according to a person who has spoken to her about ABC’s decision:
After “Live” ended on Tuesday morning, Ms. Ripa was called to a meeting along with the show’s longtime producer, Michael Gelman, and the WABC general manager, Dave Davis (the show is produced by WABC, and it is distributed by ABC and Disney’s syndication group). She did not know the purpose of the meeting.
After a 20-minute wait, Mr. Strahan entered the room and broke the news that he was leaving. It wasn’t long before tensions flared.
“Didn’t I tell you this was going to happen?” Ms. Ripa said to Mr. Davis at the meeting, according to the person. “I told you two years ago this was going to happen.”