EXCLUSIVE: Oprah Winfrey on Kelly Ripa's Reaction to Michael Strahan Departure News: 'Nobody Should Ever Be Blindsided'

by Alex Ungerman 3:48 PM PDT, April 20, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Oprah Winfrey on Kelly Ripa's Reaction to Michael Strahan Departure News: 'Nobody Should Ever Be Blindsided'

Oprah Winfrey feels for Kelly Ripa in light of the news that Michael Strahan is leaving Live! With Kelly and Michael.

ET caught up with the media mogul while she was promoting her upcoming OWN Network series, Greenleaf, where she commented on Ripa apparently not being told of her co-host's departure from the program.

"Nobody should ever be blindsided," she said. "I don't know who's in charge, but somebody should've said, 'This is gonna happen.' You shouldn't have to read it in the paper. Ever."

MORE: 7 Times Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan Gave Us the Ultimate Friendship Goals! A Look Back at Their Cutest Moments

A source told ET that Ripa took an unplanned day off on Wednesday after feeling "blindsided" because she didn't learn of Strahan's deal to leave the show to work full-time on Good Morning America until after shooting Tuesday's episode of Live!. Ana Gasteyer, who has regularly appeared on the program, was called after 10 p.m. on Tuesday to fill in for Ripa on Wednesday morning, the source added.

If there's any consolation, Winfrey noted, it's that Ripa is fully capable of handling Live! on her own should she want to.

WATCH: Kelly Ripa Skips 'Live!' Appearance After Feeling 'Blindsided' by Michael Strahan's Exit Announcement

"I had a co-host for a long time and I wanted to do it by myself," Winfrey shared.

While empathizing with Ripa's situation, Winfrey did express enthusiasm about Strahan's new gig.

"He's going to be great on Good Morning America. I think Michael's so great. He's like a natural talent," Winfrey raved. "He won't get any sleep, but he will be great."

WATCH: Michael Strahan Leaving 'Live' After 4 Years to Join 'Good Morning America' Full-Time

Meanwhile, Greenleaf is set to premiere in June. Winfrey, who executive produces and also has a recurring role in the series, opened up to ET about her experience appearing on the show.

"They were all having so much fun, and I tried to figure out a way to get in that I wouldn't have to commit my whole life to be in," she explained. "I wanted a role that was recurring that would allow me to be part of this whole experience."

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Strahan Calls Dramatic 'Live!' Taping a 'Hard Day' for Everyone