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Ryan Seacrest announces he is departing Live with Kelly and Ryan

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In a major announcement Thursday, February 16, Ryan Seacrest revealed that he would be stepping down from his role as co-host on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” The longtime broadcaster, who joined the syndicated ABC daytime show in 2017, will be moving back to the west coast in the spring to prepare for the “American Idol” live shows in Los Angeles. Seacrest’s permanent replacement will be actor Mark Consuelos, who is also the husband of co-host Kelly Ripa. The show will now be officially called “Live with Kelly and Mark.”

Leaving was a “tough, tough” decision and one that was also “bittersweet,” Seacrest noted on the show. He honored his bond with Ripa, calling co-hosting the show with her “a dream job and one of the highlights of my career.” Seacrest expressed his gratitude to the executive producer and the entire staff and crew and said, “It’s been a memorable ride, and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”

Ripa reciprocated her fondness for Seacrest, calling him a “dear, dear friend” on the show. “Ryan’s energy, passion, and love for entertainment are one-of-a-kind,” she said. “There is nobody else like you. I know you in real life as well as TV life. I say this about very few people: what you see is what you get. This is not an act; this is a good man. I am so endlessly impressed by you.”

Consuelos will be the third co-host Ripa has worked with since joining the show in 2001. She began alongside Regis Philbin, who left in 2011. Michael Strahan stepped in next, hosting the show from 2012 until 2016 when he left to join “Good Morning America” full-time. Seacrest’s debut on the show came nearly a year later.

Meanwhile, Consuelos has previously stepped in to guest-host multiple times, including when Seacrest was filming “American Idol.” “As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the Live family,” executive producer Michael Gelman said in a statement. He also stated that Conseulos joining the show was “special for us” and wished “viewers will feel the same.”

While Seacrest may be leaving his role as co-host, he will still be regularly welcomed back on the show. Gelman further noted that they would look forward to “welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms.”

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