Thursday morning, Ryan Seacrest announced that he would leave the syndicated morning talk show Live with Kelly and Ryan sometime in the spring. Kelly Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, was named as his successor.
Seacrest, who joined the show in 2017, will be moving back to the west coast to focus more on American Idol duties but will still keep his New Year’s eve hosting duties at Times Square on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. He will also return as a guest host on Live in the future.
He described his departure from the morning show as “bittersweet,” but said, “working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career. She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.”
He added, “I also want to thank Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people, and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride, and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”
I’m so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan,” said Ripa. “Ryan’s energy, passion, and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.”
Executive producer of Live with Kelly and Ryan Michael Gelman added, “Goodbyes are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms. As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the ‘Live’ family. Having him join the show is so special for us, and we’re sure that viewers will feel the same.”
The transition from Seacrest to Consuelos will definitely be smoother than when Seacrest joined. Ripa felt blindsided by Michael Strahan’s sudden move to Good Morning America.
Ripa, in protest, left the show for a few days, leading to a tabloid frenzy, and when she returned, she joked, “Our long national nightmare is over.”