Just hours after Kelly Ripa's emotional return to Live! with Kelly and Michael on Tuesday, it emerged that co-host Michael Strahan will be leaving her side in just two weeks.
He said last week he would depart the show in September to join Good Morning America. But the show announced Tuesday he will be leaving on May 13.
"After meeting with the producers of both Live and Good Morning America, and after speaking with Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future," a statement said. "To that end, Michael’s last day on Live will be on Friday, May 13."
The move allows "GMA to start integrating Michael into the show more often this summer before his full-time start in September."
She returned to the show on Tuesday and tackled the scandal head on.
"Guys, guys, guys. Our long national nightmare is over," she quipped.
She turned serious. "I always speak from the heart. I didn't want to come out here and say something I might regret ... But this started a much bigger conversation about consideration and respect in the workplace."
Ripa also addressed Strahan directly.
"This is a tremendous opportunity," she said. "I couldn't be, and we couldn't be, prouder of you."
Strahan responded, "I'm so happy you're back ... I love you. You brought me here. I know this show lives on because you're the queen of morning television."
Ripa shot back, "Oprah's the real queen, how dare you."
Despite the show of support, CNN's media reporter Brian Stelter said he sensed a chill in the air.
"Kelly and Michael put on a good show this morning but there was some chilliness between them," he told IE. "The big surprise came after the broadcast when it leaked out that, actually, Michael is not sticking around all summer."
Stelter likened Strahan's swift exit to someone quitting a job suddenly before working out their two weeks' notice.
"That's what Michael's doing," he said. "He's leaving the show pretty much as soon as he can. You've got to wonder if Kelly is pulling the strings on this."
Strahan, 44, joined Live! in 2012.