Ryan Seacrest Leaving ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan,’ Mark Consuelos Joins as Co-Host (VIDEO)

After six seasons, Ryan Seacrest announced today that he would be stepping down from Live with Kelly and Ryan.

“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career. 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 on Thursday’s (February 16) episode of the long-running morning show.

“I also want to thank 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,” he continued. “It’s been a memorable ride, and now I’m excited to pass the baton to Kelly’s ‘real’ husband, Mark.”

Kelly Ripa, who has hosted the show since 2001, first with Regis Philbin and later Michael Strahan, will be joined by actor and husband Mark Consuelos for the rebranded “Live with Kelly and Mark.”

“I’m so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan,” Ripa stated. “Ryan’s energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind.”

Seacrest will remain part of the ABC Entertainment family as he will continue to host American Idol and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. He will be heading back to the West Coast as he prepares for the American Idol live shows in Los Angeles.

“Goodbyes are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms. As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the ‘Live’ family. Having him join the show is so special for us and we’re sure that viewers will feel the same,” said Michael Gelman, executive producer of Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Following the on-air announcement, Seacrest and Ripa both took to Instagram to share the news with their followers. “I’m going to miss my work wife and all the laughter we share,” Seacrest wrote. “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.”

Meanwhile, Ripa shared a photo of herself and Seacrest alongside her husband on the Live set. “OK NOW we’re empty nesters. When your friends become work mates become family,” she wrote. “Congratulations @ryanseacrest on surviving six winters in NYC! I’m proud of you and am forever in your corner. And @instasuelos welcome home, or to the contractual obligation phase of our relationship.”

Live with Kelly and Ryan, Weekdays, Syndicated

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