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Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa in an undated photo.

Michael Strahan set to leave ‘Live!’ earlier than scheduled

27 April 2016 Entertainment News

Fourth Estate Staff

New York City, NY, United States (4E) – Michael Strahan is leaving “Live! With Kelly and Michael” earlier than expected after his controversial announcement that he is exiting the show rocked the network and Kelly Ripa herself.

Strahan was originally to stay until the summer and leave by fall to be with “Good Morning America” full-time but it has been confirmed in a statement that he will be departing by May.

A source shared, "After meeting with the producers of bothLive and Good Morning America, and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future. To that end, Michael's last day on Live will be on Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show the chance to have a nice send-off for him during the May book, but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host."

The latest plan will also allow “Good Morning America” to start having Strahan participate in the show more often before he starts full-time by September.

The announcement comes after Ripa made her return to the morning talk show on Tuesday after taking some time off from work and calling in sick. According to sources, when she first found out about the news, she was livid and she felt blindsided as Strahan did not tell anyone about the plan.

However, on Tuesday, Ripa shared, “I really needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right—and let's be honest, I know half of you called in sick to be here, so we get each other. In that time, I gained some perspective. I always speak from the heart. I didn't want to come out here and just, like, say something I might regret.”

She continued to say that in the last couple of days, she was able to have an extraordinary time as conversation, communication, consideration, and respect in the workplace were all laid out. She also said that being with the show is like her second home. She noted that they have an incredible team and that they are a family.