Ryan Seacrest plans to leave ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan” this spring, he announced on Thursday’s episode.
Seacrest has hosted the New York-set morning show with Kelly Ripa since 2017. Ripa’s husband, Mark Consuelos, will take over as her full-time co-host.
“It was a tough, tough decision,” Seacrest said. “Last year, we spoke and I made the decision to make this my last season as co-host with Kel here on ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan,’ which is bittersweet.”
The 48-year-old Seacrest didn’t announce his final day but says he’ll return to Los Angeles once the latest season of “American Idol” begins airing its live shows there. Season 21 of the ABC singing competition series, which Seacrest hosts, premieres next week, beginning with the audition episodes.
Seacrest joined “Live” as a permanent host alongside Ripa after Michael Strahan’s departure for “Good Morning America.” Ripa previously hosted the show with the late Regis Philbin.
“This has been the greatest ride for me,” said Seacrest, who plans to fill in as a guest host after stepping down from his permanent role.
Seacrest also hosts the syndicated radio shows “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” and “American Top 40.”
“I cheer you on endlessly,” Ripa said Thursday. “I know how much of a sacrifice it’s been. I know how exhausting it is going back and forth [to Los Angeles]. I fully understand your decision making, and like Ryan said, we have been talking about this for a long time.”
Consuelos, who married Ripa in 1996, has frequently appeared on “Live” as a guest host. The couple met while starring on the soap opera “All My Children” and have three kids together.
“We are so aware of the importance of continuity and consistency and the familial vibe that we all have here,” Ripa said. “It only makes sense … to bring in somebody that we know and love and who’s really always been here.”