Just Hours After Kelly Ripa Addressed the Michael Strahan Controversy, ABC Makes a Shocking Announcement

What's going on here?

Kelly Ripa made her big return to Live! With Kelly and Michael Tuesday (April 26). If you forgot, she played hooky last Wednesday (April 20) and went on vacation Thursday through Monday after abruptly finding out her co-host Michael Strahan is leaving for a gig at Good Morning America. (Ripa was reportedly “livid” she didn’t get a heads up and essentially found out at the same time the public did.)

But Ripa didn’t seem livid during today’s broadcast. She appeared good-natured–at times downright emotional–and faced the controversy head on. Here is what she told viewers on air:

“I 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 so I didn’t want to come out here and say something I regret. So what transpired over the course of a few days has been extraordinary. In a sense that it started a greater conversation about communication, consideration and, most importantly, respect in workplace. And since we’re being honest, I don’t consider this just a workplace, this is my second home. This is a place that I devoted myself to, not just because of you our loyal viewers, but because of all of the producers and the crew who work on this show. We have an incredible team and we are devoted to one another. We are family. Apologies have been made, and the best thing to come out of all of this is that our parent company has assured me that Live! is a priority…I am thrilled for Michael.”

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