— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 20, 2016
‘Cause they’re happy! Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos welcomed their future permanent cohost Michael Strahan to their show with arms wide open on Wednesday, April 20.
“We are thrilled to say that Michael Strahan will be joining us every morning in the fall,” Roberts, 55, told viewers on Wednesday. “He’ll be here tomorrow to tell us all about it.”
Stephanopoulos also chimed in on the addition, saying: “It is so great to have him here. He’s gonna keep on doing football as well.” The other cohosts Lara Spencer and Amy Robach smiled and nodded as the announcement was made. Strahan has already become well acquainted with the GMA crew as he’s appeared on the show twice a week since 2014.
Strahan’s new role was announced to staffers by ABC News president James Goldston on Tuesday morning. “Michael has been a stellar addition to the broadcast,” Goldston said in the memo obtained by Us Weekly. “Over the past two years on GMA, he’s proven to be a tireless and versatile broadcaster with an incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans to American pop culture icons and newsmakers. He will end a four-year run as Kelly Ripa’s cohost on Live!, where he has honed his skills as an interviewer with genuine warmth and a quick wit. At GMA, he’ll now have even more opportunities to tell stories that inspire, inform and empower people.”
Strahan’s new role comes at a pivotal time in morning television, as GMA continues to battle the Today show for supreme ratings.
The Live host addressed his career transition on Wednesday on Live With Kelly and Michael. “I’ve been in the news lately,” Strahan, 44, said with a smile. “[I will go] to GMA full-time, which is going to happen in September. It is true. It is the same channel. I’m not going anywhere. I was reading some stuff and it sounded like I died! I was like, ‘It’s not a eulogy, people!'”
The former NFL player also graciously thanked his fans and ABC for their support as he inches up the ladder. “You guys have been absolutely amazing and on top of that, I’ve worked with incredible staff here,” he said on Live on Wednesday. “I’m always here. I’m always available to guest cohost if I get a call, because I consider myself part of this family forever. I just want to say thank you to everybody out there. I love you too. And I’m not going anywhere!”
Meanwhile, Kelly Ripa was noticeably absent from her cohost’s chair. “[She] took a sick day,” one source told Us Weekly exclusively of Ripa’s whereabouts. “No way she was walking back into that today.” A show rep added: “Kelly had today off from the show.”
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