Kelly Ripa Skips ‘Live’ the Morning Michael Strahan Announces Departure

Once the news of Michael Strahan’s departure from Live with Kelly and Michael broke on Tuesday – rumors of bad blood between the two co-hosts immediately began to swirl.

Outlets reported that Kelly Ripa and Live producer Michael Gelman were both blindsided by the former star athlete’s decision to join the team over at Good Morning America – full time.

LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL - NEW YORK, NY – September 4, 2012 – Months of rumor and speculation ended this morning as Kelly Ripa proudly introduced legendary NFL star sports broadcaster Michael Strahan as her new co-host during the inaugural broadcast of the newly-rechristened syndicated talk show, LIVE! with Kelly and Michael," distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Disney-ABC/ {DAVE RUSSELL)

LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL – NEW YORK, NY – September 4, 2012 – Months of rumor and speculation ended this morning as Kelly Ripa proudly introduced legendary NFL star sports broadcaster Michael Strahan as her new co-host during the inaugural broadcast of the newly-rechristened syndicated talk show, LIVE! with Kelly and Michael,” distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Disney-ABC/ {DAVE RUSSELL)

Ripa was also not too keen on the fact that she found out pretty much the way we all did. No meeting prior to the announcement was facilitated.

So, it was no surprise on Wednesday morning, when the audience and viewers were greeted with actress Ana Gasteyer sitting next to Strahan who formally confirmed his departure and re-affirmed the fact that he would be open to guest hosting in the future.

According to Variety, a rep for Live, which falls under the Disney/ABC umbrella verified that Ripa did in fact have the “day off.” But her absence is undeniably coincidental and adds more fuel to the fire that that will keep burning until Strahan’s replacement occupies his soon to be vacant chair.

There is already a circulating list of worthy contenders – including Bravo’s Andy Cohen, actor Taye Diggs and CNN’s Anderson Cooper who happens to be quite chummy with Ripa.

In the meantime – ABC’s Good Morning America will hopefully leverage Strahan’s addition by once again dominating the morning TV landscape after months of lagging behind NBC’s Today show.