Is Michael Strahan making a mistake by leaving ‘Live With Kelly and Michael‘ for ‘Good Morning America’? Only time will tell, but at least he can cry into a big pile of money if the career move doesn’t work out. After watching his exit package below, I couldn’t help but feel sad, because Kelly and Michael really did have sweet on-stage chemistry, and life isn’t just about money. He’s moving to another show as part of an ensemble, which apart from the money, feels like a step down. Good luck, Michael. You will be missed, especially since I don’t watch GMA.
When Michael Strahan announced his exit from Live with Kelly and Michael, the public was apparently just as shocked as his costar. Sources reveal that the original plan was to tell Kelly Ripa well before the rest of the world, but when the story leaked, the timeline became truncated. Kelly ditched her desk the following day for an early exit on an already planned vacation, which prompted Strahan to publicly thank her with some canned comments.
Ripa’s primary objection surrounds not only the timeline, but the idea that both shows are under the Disney umbrella, and Bob Iger obviously values ‘Good Morning America’ more than ‘Live With Kelly and Michael,’ because taking her costar clearly puts one show at risk at the advantage of another. Furthermore, why would execs demand Strahan keep this a secret? If they’re all on the same team, then isn’t it fair to tell his longtime partner about the deal? Surely they’d know she would not leak the news. And finally, it’s disloyal. Ripa is an extremely valuable, high-performing partner on a major, revenue-generating show, and Strahan owes her everything. She obviously played a role in his hiring, influenced his success, and at times — carried him.
One would think that the press surrounding this situation would focus on Strahan’s disloyalty, along with taking the executives to task. But it’s shockingly (or not so shockingly) gone the other direction. Ripa has been portrayed as a drama queen who had an emotional “meltdown” or “tantrum” and immaturely didn’t show up for work. As for Strahan, he’s a “stand up guy” who didn’t have to be in the meeting with Ripa to break the news but chose to do so anyways out of the kindness of his heart. ABC is banking on Strahan’s likability on their bubble-gum daytime show, and if his departure gets tainted, their plan tanks. It’s therefore clear who’s behind these leaks, but the media is taking the bait, and falling into the same gender traps women have been arguing against for some time. Ripa is a powerhouse performer and Strahan betrayed her. Why isn’t anyone talking about that?
When Michael Strahan announced his departure from Live With Kelly and Michael, it came as a shock to both the public and Kelly herself. GMA is apparently struggling, and Strahan fulfills a target demographic. Because their revenue totals over $300 million per year, they can afford what I can only perceive is a hefty pay raise for the former football star. Strahan is certainly talented and worthy of poaching, but I can’t help but wonder how well he’ll do without Ripa by his side. She should not be concerned, though. This is familiar territory, and she’s a titan.
NFL great and television talk show host Michael Strahan sat down with Cigar Afionado for an exclusive interview, and the gentle Giant talked football, the limelight, and what’s next for his career. Read some choice quotes below.
On knowing no limits: “I don’t limit myself and I tell my kids not to let anyone limit you. That’s one of the great things I learned from my dad. He never said, ‘If…’ It wasn’t ‘If you’re drafted by the pros.’ It was always ‘When.’ When you’re drafted by the pros. He made things seem like they were supposed to happen.”
On his football field strategy: “I always looked at football as psychological. It was like chess, where you’re figuring out what your opponent’s next move will be, or how to make them move where you want them to…That’s one of the things I miss—that chess match.”
On the difference in his life since leaving football: “I’m not sore every morning.”
Co-host Kelly Ripa on Strahan’s surprising shyness: “All he has are strengths. He can talk about anything…If charm was a drug, you could extract it from his body and give it to everyone…People run up and hug him. They see a big personality. But in his private time, he’s really very shy.”
On his “Live with Kelly and Michael” audience: “Those are the only ones we really think about talking to. If I started thinking about how many people are actually watching us on TV, it would freak me out.”
On being in the limelight: “One of the most embarrassing things to me is people yelling out my name in the street, I want to be the guy who can walk in and out of a room and you don’t know I’ve been there…I miss being able to sit in a restaurant and not have people try to sneak a photo with their cameras.”
On finding anonymity within the community of cigar smokers: “Cigars solicit conversation. You see someone smoking a cigar and you feel instantly closer to them.”
On his choice cigars: “For the most part, I like my cigars light and sweet. Sometimes, though, give me something robust that will knock my socks off. I think the little ones look funny in my hand because I’m such a big guy. But I don’t want a cigar that’s the size of my thumb either.”
On his many ventures off of the field and what’s next: “Someone asked me what I’d like my legacy to be. When I thought about it, I decided I’d like to have been more successful outside of football than I was in it…I’m not done yet. I’ve got a long way to go.”