UPDATE: Kelly Ripa returned to Live! With Kelly and Michael on Tuesday morning. “Our long national nightmare is over,” Ripa said at the start of the show, before explaining that the controversy over how cohost Michael Strahan’s decision to leave for Good Morning America was handled opened up a dialogue about respect in the work place. Ripa added that ABC had assured her Live! will remain a priority.
EARLIER: Sorrys all around for Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.
EW has confirmed that ABC’s top brass, including TV Group President Ben Sherwood, apologized to Ripa and Strahan for the way his promotion to Good Morning America was handled last week. Ripa hasn’t been at work since April 19, when she was reportedly “blindsided” by the news of Strahan joining the morning news show full-time in September.
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As first reported by CNN Money, several execs expressed regret for the way the reshuffling was handled — which helped to bring Ripa back to co-host Live! on Tuesday after a “previously scheduled vacation.” Multiple press reports revealed that Ripa and the show’s executive producer Michael Gelman learned about Strahan’s move moments before the news was officially announced.
“We had a plan which obviously did not go as planned,” a source told CNN Money.
On April 22, Ripa sent an email to Live! staffers saying she planned to return after leaving the set two days earlier than expected for her vacation. “I wanted to thank you all for giving me the time to process this new information,” Ripa wrote in the email. “Your kindness, support, and love has overwhelmed me. We are a family and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday morning.”