Kelly Ripa is in need of another co-host. Live With Kelly And Michael is losing Michael Strahan, who is going to be full time on ABC’s Good Morning America starting in September, as that show looks to shore up ratings against NBC News’s revitalized Today show.
The move ends Strahan’s four-year run as host of the daytime talker; since 2014 Strahan has joined the GMA team twice a week while co-hosting Live, which plans to kick off the search for a new co-host when the new season starts in the fall. In 2012, Strahan was nabbed to co-host Live after a 10-month search for a replacement for Regis Philbin. Strahan was named Philbin’s replacement after Ripa and producers kicked the tires on 59 guest co-hosts, though not all were serious contenders. Anderson Cooper, for instance, was happily employed at CNN, where he’s now town-hall-ing the heck out of the 2016 presidential election cycle, though other names may show up again as reporters crafting Who Will Be Kelly Ripa’s New Live Co-Host lists hear from production sources, agents and managers.
GMA wisely is waiting until after Today takes center stage in the daypart during NBC’s Rio Summer Games, during which it’s expected to unveil more changes as EP Noah Oppenheim continues to evolve that franchise.
In today’s announcement, ABC News president James Goldston called Strahan “a great modern thinker and leader” and spoke of his “incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans and all kinds of newsmakers to a host of modern American cultural icons.” (Read the full memo below.)
This morning’s news comes just over four years to the day since Strahan announced, on Live with Kelly and Michael, that he was taking the GMA contributor gig, while assuring Ripa and fans that his Live gig was his top priority: “This is what I do…This is me. This is my home. No matter what. I go nowhere. This is my love. You are my love. This is my job. So don’t worry, anybody, I’m not going anywhere.”
But, a couple weeks ago, Today broke GMA’s 108-week streak as No. 1 in overall audience. The day NBC News could boast that Today had won the weekly ratings race in both total viewers and the news demo, for the first since since 2012, it confirmed Willie Geist’s move to Sunday Today would start this past Sunday. Season to date, GMA is still the No. 1 morning program, taking the top spot at this point of the season for the fourth consecutive year.
This season Live With Kelly And Michael is the No. 1 entertainment daytime talk show in households (2.9 rating) and among women 25-54 (1.4 rating-tie). Overall, the show is second among syndicated talkers, behind only perennial No. 1 Dr. Phil this season. Live recently was renewed through 2020.
Strahan will remain a co-host of NFL On Fox; he began his career as TV on-air talent with Fox Sports, upon his retirement in 2008 from the NFL, where he played for 15 years for the New York Giants.
Here is Goldston’s note to staff:
I want to share some exciting news about our GMA family.
The deeply talented Michael Strahan, who currently joins Robin, George, Lara, Amy and Ginger twice a week, will expand his role to appear full-time in the mornings on GMA starting in September.
Michael has been a stellar addition to the broadcast. Over the past two years on GMA, he’s proven to be a tireless and versatile broadcaster with an incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans to American pop culture icons and newsmakers.
He will end a four year run as Kelly Ripa’s co-host on LIVE!, where he has honed his skills as an interviewer with genuine warmth and a quick wit. At GMA he’ll now have even more opportunities to tell stories that inspire, inform and empower people.
Almost exactly four years ago GMA memorably broke Today’s epic 16-year win streak in the mornings. Since then, the team has battled just as fiercely to deliver great journalism when news breaks, from San Bernardino to Brussels; reported relentlessly from the campaign trail with over 100 interviews with the candidates; and embraced new technology – from VR to our GMA Wake Up Call – to supercharge how we connect with our viewers every minute of the day.
I’m delighted to welcome Michael to GMA each and every morning. I can’t wait to see what this incredibly talented team will bring our viewers next.