Kelly & Michael: An Opinion From a TV Host

I’m sure by now you’ve heard there has been some trouble in morning television land. Specifically with my favorite show, LIVE with Kelly & Michael. I’ve let it sit for a while, but I’d like to weigh in on the controversy as a fellow TV host.

Kelly & MichaelFirst, I’d like to give full disclosure that I adore Kelly Ripa. She wins TV host gold in my eyes, and in all reality, her job is my dream job. After 7+ years in the broadcasting business I’ve learned a lot. One of the things I believe to be true is that a good TV host makes it look easy. Kelly Ripa makes it look easy. Because I am also a TV host, I know for a fact it’s not easy, so I respect her a lot as a professional.

I’d also like to say I really like Michael a lot too. I was a fan of his when he was playing football and I think he’s an extremely talented man who has transitioned from one profession to the other better than almost anyone I’ve seen. I think, until now, Kelly & Michael have been the perfect television relationship.

It’s obvious to me that things are still awkward between Kelly & Michael on-air

They’re professionals so they’re trying, but I can tell when there is a awkwardness between two people on-air and believe me, it’s there. Not to mention it was released this week that Michael would be leaving LIVE 4 months early, so that they could have “adequate time to look for a replacement”. We’re not talking a two week early exit, we’re talking 4 months early. Sounds less than ideal and a little sketchy to me.

This is 100% ABC’s fault, not Michael Strahan’s fault.

ABC made the call to move Michael over from LIVE to be full-time on Good Morning America (a definite ploy at a ratings bump. The Today Show is giving them a serious run for their money). While I’m sure Michael didn’t throw a fit about it, at the end of the day he has a contract with LIVE and only ABC can let him out of that contract. Word is when he moves over to GMA Michael will be getting a substantial pay raise. So not only did ABC let him out of his current contract (something that is traditionally extremely hard to do), they sweetened the deal with a pay raise.

Disrespect in the work place

I think it’s obvious that since Regis left the show Kelly has taken over as the face of LIVE Not only is she the face of the show, but she’s been with the ABC for over 25 years (before she was on LIVE she was on All My Children, which is also an ABC show).

Making a TV show requires a lot of parts; a director, cameramen, show guests, and many more parts to make the whole. All these parts are necessary and extremely important. The job of the host is to take all of those elements and make sure they come together to cohesively deliver the message of the show. How is that possible if your employer is trying to pull a fast one on you? It really isn’t. You want someone to be the face of something, but leave them in the dark about one of the biggest details of the show? In what world is that ok? Kelly said in her return speech that this was an issue of respect in the workplace and I couldn’t agree more. The fact that Kelly, found out about her co-host’s departure mere moments before the rest of the world did is straight bologna. I think her actions and her feelings were more than justified.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I side with Kelly. Maybe it’s because I am also a female TV host, or maybe it’s because I’ve been a huge fan of hers for a long time. Honestly, I really just think it’s because had my employer tried to pull over on me what her employer did, I’d have felt the same way she did. Don’t put the well-being of an entire show (watched daily by millions of people, mind you) on my shoulders and then leave me out of some of the major details of it. That’s absolute garbage.

ABC, you messed up, big time. You treated someone who’s been a part of your family for over 20 years like she just walked in the door yesterday. You’re the reason “the business” gets a bad name, and you should be ashamed.

What do you think of the Kelly and Michael Controversy?

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  • I definitely haven’t been keeping up with the Kelly and Michael controversy, but I’ve heard a little bit about it. From everything you just wrote, it definitely seems like ABC is to blame! I can’t believe that they’d screw over one of their TV shows just to try and make another one better.

    • ugh, i couldn’t agree more. the whole situation just gives me a bad taste in my mouth.

  • I appreciate your perspective on this…especially with your experience! I feel like situations like this generally are the fault of the company…having worked for a large company before (completely different industry), they moved people around all the time and the people had little say in it or the messaging.

    • exactly. I heard Michael’s GMA salary is double what his Live salary was. I’m thinking that definitely helped him be ok with making the move.

  • Totally agree with you. I don’t even watch these shows and am angry on Kelly’s behalf.

    • It would be hard for me to go back to work for people who blatantly disregarded me as a professional like that. Kudos to her for even being able to walk back in the door.

  • I love Michael Strahan but this disappointed me. I 100% agree with you that the main fault is on ABC but as a person/coworker/friend (maybe?), I find it hard to believe that he didn’t know at least a little about the timing and couldn’t have shot her a text or mentioned it sooner. But hey, maybe you’ll get tapped as a replacement? 🙂

    • haha. I would LOVE to be the replacement!! BUT i have to say I like the male/female vibe of the show a lot. I’ll be eager to see who the new host is! I loved Fred Savage when he guest hosted and I know he’s hosting next week so I’m looking forward to it 🙂

  • I obviously don’t have the experienced-based perspective on this that you do, but I completely agree with you. So shady on ABC’s part.

    • Shady! that’s the perfect word for it. It’s almost high school-like behavior. just pathetic.

  • I completely side with Kelly, I don’t watch the show as much as I used to, but love Kelly Ripa! She is such a great TV host and very likeable. I can’t believe that she found out only minutes before the rest of the world..definitely disrespectful and honestly I feel it should have been something Michael should have sat her down and talked to her about. I’m curious who her next co-host will be or if she’ll just be doing it solo.

    • I completely agree with you! Even just to tell her “hey this is something we’re thinking about doing”, instead of completely blindsiding her. I’m curious about the replacement too! There’s all sorts of rumors about who the “front runners” are. I loved Fred Savage when he hosted and I think he’d be great full time, but we’ll have to see. 🙂

  • Theresa

    Loved reading this and hearing your perspective! I’ve been wondering what went on behind the scenes and how it got so bad, but the way you described this it’s obvious why Kelly was so upset. She is the face of the show and part of the ABC family for so long, she absolutely deserved more! It’s sad though, because it clearly affected her relationship with Michael, but I feel it was more ABC at fault than Michael. Loved this post 🙂

    • they were almost painful to watch at times after this fiasco, in my opinion. Although suddenly pulling Michael off the show so quickly was kind of awkward, I also think it was the best move for them to put the entire situation behind them. Thanks for stopping by Theresa! 🙂

  • sooooo i don’t watch this show (or any show like it) or know anything about what is going on, but i side with Kelly as well haha. she just seems super awesome. it sucks what has happened though.