Months after Michael Strahan’s abrupt exit from Live!, ABC is admitting it could have handled the entire ordeal in much better fashion.
In April, it was announced that Strahan was leaving Live!, the daytime talk show he co-hosted with Kelly Ripa for four years, in favor of a new full-time role on Good Morning America. The news “blindsided” Ripa, a source told ET, leading the 45-year-old TV personality to boycott her own show.
Currently, Ripa is still seeking a new co-host to fill the void left by Strahan, though the ripple effects of his exit are still felt. A source told ET earlier this month that Ripa is enjoying the rotation of guest co-hosts, saying, “They’re not in a hurry to make a decision [on a permanent co-host] anymore.”
“I have most definitely thought about it, and I think that enough has been said about it,” Disney/ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood told The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview.
Sherwood admitted there were “mistakes” made in the handling of the situation, which resulted in awkward banter between Ripa and Strahan for several weeks on the show.
“We made some mistakes, we fixed them quickly and we moved on,” he said, before assuring that the future of Live! looks good.
“The show is in great shape,” Sherwood said. “Kelly is in a great place, the hunt for a new co-host is underway, the excitement is building, and I believe the future of that show is bright.”
One lesson he’s learned from the Live! drama?
“I certainly learned that more communication is better,” Sherwood said.
In May, Ripa opened up about how she found out that Strahan was leaving Live!, admitting to feeling that ABC didn’t consider her in the decision.
“There’s a part of me that can say, ‘OK, I understand. This may have been an oversight,’” she said in an interview with People. “And again, after 26 years, at this point we are like a family. And sometimes when you are so comfortable with somebody, you may not give them the same consideration as somebody you’re not as comfortable with -- a certain formality falls away.”
She also said at the time that she’s been able to forgive.
“I'm not dealing with monsters. I don't think of anybody as a monster or out to get me. But sometimes stability and dependability can be misinterpreted as passive,” Ripa said. “People make mistakes, and we're all human. They're human and I'm human. We all have these moments, and it's about how you move forward and how you begin again."
As for why replacing Strahan will be a tall task, Ripa explained that finding that “chemistry and camaraderie and trust” she shared with the former NFL pro “doesn’t fall out of the sky.”
Here’s hoping she finds her perfect co-host fit!
For more on Ripa's "big" co-host announcement, watch the video below.