If Kelly Ripa Is Angry About Her Show's Shakeup: She's Earned It

Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage.
In case you have been too busy basking in the beautiful spring weather to truly appreciate the drama going on over at ABC this week (reasonable move), here's a quick recap: Michael Strahan announced that he was leaving Live! with Kelly and Michael on Tuesday and taking up a new host post on Good Morning America. According to the internet, Kelly Ripa pitched a fit when she heard the news — and hasn't been back to work since.

That's the short version, in which Ripa's behavior sounds a little bratty. But dig deeper and it makes sense that she's reeling from the news that her co-host is leaving her behind.

Strahan and ABC revealed that the former football player would be moving over to GMA on Tuesday afternoon. In a snap the rumor mill started turning. TMZ reported that Ripa went "ballistic" after hearing the news, at least in part because no one gave her a heads up about what was about to go down. Not long after that, speculation about the status of Ripa and Strahan's relationship started popping up: One source told Entertainment Tonight that while the duo got along well in the beginning, lately things have been tense between the two.

The fact that Ripa called out of work on Wednesday and Thursday of this week only added fuel to the fire. She had already taken off today and Monday, April 24, to celebrate her 20th anniversary with husband Mark Consuelos — which means she won't sit back down in her host's chair until next Tuesday. Another source claimed that Ripa said she wouldn't come back until Strahan was gone for good, though that seems unlikely. She's got bills to pay just like the rest of us.

Here's the thing, though. Why it might seem like ducking out of work for two days before a vacation in the aftermath of an internal shakeup might seem dramatic, Ripa taking some time to deal with being blindsided is reasonable.

According to The New York Times, Ripa had zero heads up that this was going to happen. Here's how it went down: Strahan and Ripa filmed the Tuesday show, per usual. Then she went into a meeting; twenty minutes in, Strahan dropped the bomb that he was departing for GMA. Ripa reportedly got ticked — not at Strahan, but at Dave Davis — the general manager of WABC, which produces Live! because she predicted two years ago — when Strahan first started guest-hosting on Good Morning America — that he was going to jump ship.

Which is all to say: Kelly Ripa saw the writing on the wall. But she wasn't taken seriously — nor was she given the courtesy of a heads up that this was something the network was seriously considering, despite the fact that it would majorly impact her day-to-day work and life.

On top of that: Ripa has actually been through this before, when Regis Philbin departed from the program five years ago. When he left their show in 2011, she reportedly didn't have any more lead time than she did about Strahan's departure. And while Strahan won't officially kick things off with GMA until September, ABC could have spared Ripa this particularly painful instance of déjà vu by telling her he was leaving earlier in the process — even Philbin agrees with that.

So if Ripa needs some time to recoup? Well, she's earned it.

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