Katie Couric took a minute ahead of the New York Women in Communications' Matrix Awards to weigh in on the ongoing rumors that Kelly Ripa is upset with how ABC handled the news that her Live co-host Michael Strahan would be leaving for a full-time role on Good Morning America.
Ripa hasn't appeared on Live since the news broke late Tuesday morning, taking Wednesday and Thursday off in addition to her planned Friday and Monday days off, which she reportedly took to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary to husband Mark Consuelos. She's expected to return to Live on Tuesday.
Couric, who spent years as co-host of NBC's Today and recently hosted her own daytime talk show, shared some insights from her TV experience.
"It's hard to say, but clearly feelings were hurt and clearly she wasn't included in the project," Couric said of what happened between Ripa and Strahan. "Transitions are incredibly tricky and they have to be managed carefully, especially when people have relationships with people on television. They feel they're a part of their family. It can be extremely sensitive."
"Kelly is obviously a consummate professional -- she'll come [and], if I know her, she'll be very honest with the audience because it's the elephant in room in the studio. Hopefully they'll just move forward," Couric continued. "She'll survive, Michael will survive, the show will survive. The show must go on."
As for media reports that called Ripa's behavior "diva"-ish, Couric told reporters: "I thought that was really strange."
Couric was on hand to help honorTime magazine's Nancy Gibbs. The event also honored The Hollywood Reporter's co-president and chief creative officer Janice Min, Lena Dunham and A+E Networks' CEO Nancy Dubuc.
Meanwhile, frequent Live guest co-host and Ripa's friend Andy Cohen spoke about the situation on his Sirius XM talk show on Monday and questioned Strahan's decision to move from his successful Live co-hosting gig to GMA's larger group of co-hosts.
"They had such great chemistry and it just seems like a premature end to a great relationship," Cohen said, adding of the shakeup, "I can't say this went down in the greatest way."
He continued: "To me the job of co-hosting Live is the greatest job in TV. And she's so good at it and he was really good at it. It's a job that you take and you take it for life. She's been at that job for 15 years. You keep that job. You don't go anywhere. So I can't get over that he left Live With Kelly and Michael. Your name is in the freaking title. You could spend your life here and make serious bank. He left and went to GMA. He is now one of five people sitting at that crowded anchor desk. It's like 18 co-anchors."
Cohen went on to suggest that if the ratings don't improve at GMA, Strahan can't go back to Live because Ripa will have found a new co-host by then. He also said he'd spoken to Ripa a "few times" and "can't wait" to watch Tuesday's episode of Live to see what she says.
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