Kelly Ripa has settled on Ryan Seacrest as the new permanent co-host of her syndicated daily morning show, which as of today is renamed “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”
Variety reports Ripa and Seacrest announced the surprise choice at the start of Monday’s edition of the show, which Ripa has hosted since early 2001. Seacrest’s move into the seat next to Ripa comes nearly a year after Ripa’s former co-host, Michael Strahan, left the Disney-distributed show for an anchor slot on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“Ryan is a quintessential broadcaster and at the top of his game,” said Ripa in a statement. “I am thrilled to start my mornings with him every day, and we are so fortunate at ‘Live’ to have him join the family. Ryan is a close friend and his star shines as brightly off camera as it does on. His tremendous success is only matched by his impeccable reputation. Plainly said, everyone loves him, and so will our daily viewers.”
he move gives Seacrest, the multi-hyphenate host and entrepreneur, another big media platform. The host will relocate from Los Angeles to New York for the “Live” gig but will continue to host his syndicated daily drive-time radio show for L.A.’s KIIS 102.7 FM and the weekly “American Top 40” radio program. The plan is to build a radio studio for Seacrest at WABC-TV New York, where “Live” originates.
“Not only is Kelly Ripa one of the most talented live hosts in broadcast TV; she’s also become a very dear friend to me over the years. It’s consistently been my privilege and pleasure to work alongside Kelly with all her incredible talents, charm and humor,” Seacrest said. “I’ve been so fortunate in my career to be a part of some incredible TV programs, and I’m excited to join daytime’s top entertainment talk show, and most important, I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather share this new chapter with than Kelly Ripa – she’s a dream broadcast partner, and I can’t wait to start.”
Our #LiveKellyCohost @RyanSeacrest!!! Welcome to the family! #KellyandRyan #RyanSeacrest #seacrest #TuneinToLive pic.twitter.com/0OOIGJSnIR— LIVE with Kelly (@LiveKelly) May 1, 2017
Seacrest, co-hosted “Live with Kelly” several times since Ripa’s ex-co-host, Michael Strahan, left “Live” last May. News of Strahan’s unexpected departure from the show for “Good Morning America” led Ripa to skip the show for two days in protest of the way ABC handled the situation.
The NY Post reports when Ripa returned to “Live” on April 26, she openly discussed what had been going on behind the scenes.
“I needed a couple days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right,” she said on the air at the time.
Strahan’s last episode with Ripa was on May 13, 2016. He had joined her as co-host in 2012 after the retirement of TV icon Regis Philbin.
Since Strahan’s departure, Ripa has had a rotating roster of celebrity fill-in co-hosts including Seacrest, Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Fred Savage, Jerry O’Connell, and Neil Patrick Harris.