Michael Strahan tied himself in knots on Live! With Kelly & Michael this morning to calm fans afraid he was leaving the show, after word got out late yesterday he was joining Good Morning America. Though those press reports said the deal was not yet done, that Strahan would appear on GMA about twice a week, and that he would not be leaving the syndicated daytime talker he co-hosts with Kelly Ripa, there were nonetheless a certain number of knickers that got knotted when the news broke, including not only those of avid fans of the Strahan-Ripa pairing on Live! but also those of Disney execs worried about impact the confusion night have on the show’s ratings momentum.
So this morning, Strahan insisted on Live! that the GMA deal was not yet done, that he was surprised to read about it yesterday, and that he would only make the GMA appearances if he “could be smart about it.”
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“This is what I do. This is my home. I love you,” he told Ripa, the studio audience, and fans at home. This is my love. You are my love. You are my job. Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere.” A couple minutes later, it broke out again, “I want everyone to know this is my No. 1 priority. I love what I do. I would never do anything to jeopardize the quality of what we do here.”
Then he and Ripa got to the point of the whole exchange, which was to deftly remind viewers that Ripa once also starred on an ABC primetime sitcom while co-hosting Live! (only then with Regis Philbin). “I’ve done double duty and it’s hard — it’s definitely not for the faint of heart,” she said. Which probably explains why, when ABC (in addition to approaching Strahan) approached Ripa about also having a presence on GMA while continuing to co-host Live! she turned down the offer, as a source with knowledge of the situation told Deadline yesterday. Watch today’s exchange here: