The talk-show host, who joined the ABC morning program as a cohost in 2017, announced on Thursday’s live episode that he will leave. When the program changes its name to Live With Kelly and Mark, Kelly Ripa’s husband and frequent Live stand-in Mark Consuelos will take his place permanently.
In a statement, Seacrest said, “Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career.” “I will miss our mornings together even though we will always be a part of each other’s lives because she has been an incredible partner, friend, and confidante. I also want to express my gratitude to Michael Gelman and the rest of the staff and crew; we have created lifelong memories, gotten to know some amazing people, and received the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a fun journey, and I can’t wait to hand the reins over to Kelly’s “real” husband, Mark.”
With Ripa referring to him as “family,” Seacrest praised the “trust and bond” they share while announcing that he will return to guest-host on future episodes of Live With Kelly and Mark.
During the telecast, Seacrest broke down in tears and said, “I love the fact that we get the chance to sit here every day and connect with you in your homes. “A truly amazing family of individuals—many of whom arrived long before me—makes this show possible. They arrive at work every day with a positive attitude, lots of energy, and laughter, and we put on this show for them. I have to admit, I had no idea a television program of this caliber was so heavily winging it.”
In a different statement, Ripa stated: “I’m so happy to have spent the last six years with a dear friend I’ve known for too many years to count, and I’ll miss waking up with Ryan every morning. Ryan is unique in his enthusiasm, energy, and love of the arts.”
Initially agreeing to appear for three seasons, Seacrest later decided to stay for six. After beloved host Kathie Lee Gifford left the project she helped popularize with Regis Philbin in 1988, Ripa joined the show in 2001.
Along with his work on Live, Ryan Seacrest also hosts his own radio show, the annual New Year’s Eve broadcast on ABC, and the American Idol competition series.