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.
First, 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.
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.