Anderson Cooper Out of the Running as Kelly Ripa’s Permanent ‘Live’ Cohost

Kelly Ripa Anderson Cooper
Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper on LIVE with Kelly on August 1, 2016. Lorenzo Bevilaqua, Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution

Staying put. Anderson Cooper won’t be joining Live as Kelly Ripa’s permanent cohost — because he has reportedly signed a new deal to remain at CNN.

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the silver-haired news anchor, 49, has locked himself into a new contract with CNN that will keep him in place as the host of the network’s prime-time series Anderson Cooper 360. Cooper’s new agreement leaves room for him to film regular segments for CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Kelly Ripa Anderson Cooper
Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper attend 2013 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute at The American Museum of Natural History on November 19, 2013 in New York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/

However, THR reports that the broadcaster’s contract disallows him from appearing full time on his close friend Ripa’s syndicated daytime program. As Us Weekly exclusively reported back in April, he was among the chat queen’s top picks to replace Michael Strahan following the former NFL star’s exit to join Good Morning America.

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During an April 28 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Cooper — who has guest-hosted on Live multiple times — said that he would be honored to work with Ripa, 46, on a daily basis.

“Listen, I love Kelly and I think that show is … Kelly is the heart and soul of that show and it’s going to go on and continue to be great,” the Rainbow Comes and Goes author told show host, friend and fellow Ripa pal Andy Cohen, “and I wish Michael the best in his new endeavor.”

He added: “Look, I’m very happy at CNN. It would be a dream to work with Kelly, but nobody’s offering anything, so …”

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As previously reported, Ripa felt “blindsided” by Strahan’s sudden departure from Live to join GMA full-time this September, which was announced — without her prior knowledge — back in April. The athlete turned TV star ended his contract early as a result of the behind-the-scenes drama, leaving four months ahead of schedule on May 13.


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