Ryan Seacrest is ditching one of his many jobs.
After six seasons, the American Idol host announced on today’s (Feb 16) Live with Kelly and Ryan that he is leaving the daytime talk show. Kelly Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos will join her after Ryan departs. The show, which Ripa joined in 2001, will be rebranded as Live with Kelly and Mark.
Seacrest plans to move back to the west coast and will remain part of the Disney family. He’ll continue to host American Idol and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. He’ll also continue his radio show on KIIS-FM and plans to open 3 more Ryan Seacrest Studios for children. The host will depart from Live ahead of the live American Idol shows which broadcast from Los Angeles, usually beginning mid-April.
He will, however, occasionally fill in as guest host, breaking the tradition of ex-live co-hosts who never return. Both Regis Philbin and Michael Strahan left Live on somewhat bitter terms with Kelly. But it appears that Ryan’s departure will not affect their friendship or his relationship to the show.
Ripa began alongside Philbin in 2001, replacing Kathie Lee Gifford. Philbin’s last live show was in November 2011 (Philbin died in July 2020 at the age of 88). Strahan came next, hosting the show from September 2012 until April 2016, when he departed to join Good Morning America full-time. Seacrest made his debut nearly a year later.
“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career. She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together,” said Seacrest. “I also want to thank Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew – we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”
“I’m so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan,” said Ripa. “Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.”
“Goodbyes are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms. As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the ‘Live’ family. Having him join the show is so special for us and we’re sure that viewers will feel the same,” said Michael Gelman, executive producer of “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”
“I can’t thank you enough on all of our behalf,” Ripa said on Thursday’s show. “There is nobody else like you. There is nobody who can really do what you do. I know you in real life as well as TV life. I say this about very few people: what you see is what you get. This is not an act, this is a good man. I am so endlessly impressed by you.”
Ryan initially signed to host and executive produce Live for three years and wound up staying for six.