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Kelly Ripa’s ‘LIVE!’ absence a previously scheduled vacation, in part, ABC says


ABC's "LIVE with Kelly and Michael" co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan will soon be parting ways. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mark Davis

Daytime talk-show host Kelly Ripa remained off work for a second consecutive day Thursday following co-host Michael Strahan’s announcement Tuesday that he is leaving “LIVE! With Kelly and Michael” to work full-time at ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Sportscaster Erin Andrews filled in on Thursday morning, following actress and former “Saturday Night Live” star Ana Gasteyer on Wednesday. Unlike Wednesday’s show, where NFL Hall of Famer Strahan, 44, told viewers directly of his plans and expressed his love and gratitude for Ripa and the show, Thursday’s edition did not mention the growing controversy over Ripa’s behavior.

Andrews and Strahan will also record Friday’s episode on Thursday, announced ABC. The network said Friday and Monday were previously scheduled vacation days for Ripa. Actress Shay Mitchell of sister channel Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars,” will co-host then.

ABC has not commented on whether Ripa, 45, will return after that. Ripa’s spokeswoman has not responded to Newsday’s request for comment.

Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos were photographed Thursday morning leaving their Upper East Side townhouse. She was holding a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,” a 2013 book that features stories of underdogs who beat the odds. on Thursday suggested Ripa was saber-rattling for reasons unknown. The site said ABC is not concerned about her quitting, and speculated that while she earns just under an estimated $15 million annually, she and her family have an expensive lifestyle including that townhouse, which she bought a year ago, as well as a Hamptons mansion.

According to multiple accounts, Strahan’s departure caught both Ripa and executive producer Michael Gelman by surprise. said Strahan had not informed the two until 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. after that day’s episode had been shot. The site said that per a directive from Robert Iger, head of ABC owner Disney, Strahan was prevented from telling them earlier.

Strahan — a 15-year defensive end for the New York Giants who became a Fox Sports analyst after retirement — joined “LIVE!” in 2012 following a 10-month search for a replacement for departing longtime host Regis Philbin. Recently renewed through the 2019-20, season, “LIVE!” will begin seeking a new co-host this fall, ABC said.


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