Ryan Seacrest to exit “Live”; Mark Consuelos to replace him

Ripa’s husband to take over co-host chair

For those who complain about Ryan Seacrest holding too many jobs in this economy, there is now an opening – but it was quickly filled.

Seacrest announced Thursday morning he was departing Disney Media Distribution’s New York-based top-rated daytime talker Live With Kelly And Ryan after six years and is moving back to the Los Angeles area to focus on American Idol (which kicks off its new season on ABC Sunday) and his syndicated radio shows. Replacing Seacrest alongside co-host Kelly Ripa is her husband, Mark Consuelos, who has filled in for Seacrest while he was away. 

Seacrest is remaining host of Idol, Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, and on the radio side, continuing to host American Top 40 and his daily syndicated radio show for iHeartMedia and his morning drive show for the company’s KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, where he would be returning to their Burbank, Calif. studios full-time. Seacrest isn’t completely going away; he plans to return to fill-in when Consuelos is absent, so basically, they’re reversing roles. 

“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,“ Seacrest said. “She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together,” Seacrest said. “I also want to thank [executive producer] Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew — we’ve made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America. It’s been a memorable ride and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.” 

With the change of course, the show will now be known as Live With Kelly And Mark. Counsuelos recently portrayed Hiram Lodge in the CW series Riverdale from 2017 to 2021. 

This comes as Live is syndication’s top-rated talk show – airing mid-mornings in almost all markets on ABC affiliates (with a few exceptions), including all eight ABC-owned stations. 

By naming Consuelos host, Disney execs avoided the embarrassing spectacle taking place the last time Live underwent a hosting change. In April 2016, former co-host Michael Strahan departed Live to join Good Morning America full-time in a move that drew considerable backlash for the way it was handled, despite Live and GMA being a part of the Disney/ABC family.  Seacrest became co-host on May 1, 2017 as today’s announcement prevents predictions: 

Ripa’s been co-host of Live since 2001, when she replaced Kathie Lee Gifford alongside Regis Phillbin, who left the show in 2011

This marks the latest shake-up in daytime syndication involving the two top-rated shows. A few weeks ago, Dr. Phil announced he was stepping down from his show after 21 seasons. Dr. Phil is second behind Live in household ratings, total viewers, and in the key female 25-54 demo. In Chicago, Live airs on ABC 7 and is the top-rated talk show in its 9 a.m. time period, but finishes behind WGN Morning News. ABC 7 has aired Live since 2013. 


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