As reported previously, the former football player turned television personality was supposed to leave in September to become co-anchor of Good Morning America.
“After meeting with producers of both Live and Good Morning America, and after speaking with both Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future,” Disney ABC spokesman Kevin Brockman said in a statement.
“To that end, Michael’s last day on Live will be Friday, May 13, which not only gives the show a chance to have a nice sendoff during the May (sweeps), but to also immediately begin the on-air search for a new co-host.”
Brockman also said, “This plan also allows GMA to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer, before his full-time start in September.”
The on-air auditions process to find Strahan’s replacement will begin May 16.
Kelly Ripa was greeted by a standing ovation by the Live audience when she returned on Tuesday. She had been noticeably absent from her daytime talk show after her co-host’s announcement.
Ripa received a personal apology from top executives at Disney and ABC, who said they “expressed regret for the way Kelly was told the news.”
Her contract with Disney/ABC will end next year. She has been a co-host of the show since 2001 when she shared the screen with Regis Philbin.
There will be guest co-hosts joining her on Live until a permanent replacement for Strahan is found.
Since the announcement, fans have been emotionally discussing Strahan’s early exit on social media.