Ryan Seacrest has announced his departure as co-host of the ABC morning show Live with Kelly and Ryan, marking the end of his six-year tenure alongside Kelly Ripa.
During Thursday’s live broadcast, Seacrest revealed that he had made the decision to step down and that it was a bittersweet moment for him. He also mentioned that he had been contemplating this move for a while.
As Seacrest exits, Mark Consuelos, who currently fills in on the show, will take over as co-host, and the program will be renamed Live with Kelly and Mark.
In a separate statement on Instagram, Ryan joked that he’d miss his “work wife” and explained that he had extended his contract time and again because he had so much fun working with Ripa.
“When I signed on to host Live in 2017 it was meant to be for 3 years, but I loved the job and working with Kelly so much that I extended my time and last year I made the decision to stay on for one more final season,” he wrote.
On air, Ripa called Seacrest a gem and one of her best friends.
“The greatest part of this entire experience has been that you’ve gone from being a friend to a family member,” Ripa said. The moment was a mutual gush-fest, during which Ryan said he was becoming emotional but that he’d promised Ripa he wouldn’t cry.
Despite his imminent departure, audiences will still have plenty of opportunities to get their Seacrest fix. He’ll remain on the show until the spring, when he’ll transition into a guest host, as he shoots the 21st season of American Idol in Los Angeles.
He will also continue to host his own radio show as well as ABC’s New Year’s Eve telecast.
“I’m looking forward to coming back to guest host in the future and Kelly, I promise to forever share my food photos, chicken eggs, and olive oil with you,’ Seacrest wrote. “And congratulations to my brother Mark, feel free to remodel my dressing room!”