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A daytime TV departure: Ryan Seacrest is leaving 'Live with Kelly and Ryan'

Ryan Seacrest is stepping down as co-host of Live with Kelly and Ryan, ending a six-year run alongside Kelly Rippa on the ABC morning show.

"I made the decision to make this my last season as co-host with Kell here on Live with Kelly and Ryan, ... which is bittersweet," Seacrest announced live on Thursday's broadcast, adding that he'd been thinking about the move "for a long time."

Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, who is already a fill-in on the show, will replace Seacrest and the program will be rebranded as 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!"

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.