Ryan Seacrest Ends “Live” Run with Kelly Ripa on ABC, Mark Consuelos Will Join Wife in Final Family Network Takeover
Mornings on ABC are going to be a family affair now.
First of all, Ryan Seacrest is leaving “Live with Kelly and Ryan” after six years and heading back to Los Angeles.
Second, in his place comes Mark Consuelos, husband of host Kelly Ripa, which will complete their takeover of ABC and Disney.
Seacrest made the announcement this morning because he’s got to get back to “American Idol,” which starts up momentarily. It’s unclear if his exit is just because of logistics for him, or because Disney didn’t want to pay for the crazy flying back and forth across the country that has gone on the last five years. Seacrest would do “Idol” then zip back to New York for “Live,” then repeat, for 13 weeks.
Seacrest says in a statement he’s also leaving to return to his charitable foundation, which puts broadcast operations into children’s hospitals. I’ve told you about the foundation before. His sister gets around $271,000 to run it, his father has a $95,000 a year retainer, and now they’ve hired an administrator for $100,000. Salaries were 663K in 2020, and they spent about twice that on the hospitals.
Ripa is happy because Consuelos, who she met when they were actors on ABC’s “All My Children,” can stay home now instead of taking odd acting jobs in far flung places. ABC probably gets a deal and saves a lot of money. Over the last couple of years Ripa’s children have also been on the show. Now this is a full network takeover.
Regis Philbin is probably spinning in his grave, but what can you do? “Live,” which he built into a powerhouse, ranks number 1 or 2 every week in syndicated talk shows. The only real competition it’s had is “Dr. Phil.” But that show is ending this spring. Ripa can make a lot of demands at this point, with no end in sight.