How the 'Live' Staff Spent the Summer Bonding with Kelly – as Michael Strahan Is Set to Make 'GMA' Entrance on Tuesday

"The environment is really positive because of the work they've been doing," a source tells PEOPLE

Photo: Douglas Friedman

It’s been a busy summer for the Live staff – but Kelly Ripa and her team are closer than ever

Michael Strahan‘s unexpected exit from ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael might have sent shockwaves through the morning talk show staff, but a source tells PEOPLE they didn’t let it weaken their morale.

“While it’s true that Michael leaving made for a much more grueling summer for everyone because of the additional work required to prep a new cohost every day, the whole staff has actually bonded over it,” a source tells PEOPLE. “The environment is really positive because of the work they’ve been doing.”

Ripa has been working alongside a rotating line-up of guest co-hosts including Andy Cohen, Fred Savage, Anderson Cooper and more as the search for Strahan’s replacement at Live continues.

And following the drama of Strahan’s departure, Ripa, 45, was named an Executive Producer on the show.

“They did add the Executive Producer title, but honestly that happened a long time ago,” adds the source. “Kelly just never announced it.”

Meanwhile, Strahan is set to make his debut as a full-time co-anchor at the network’s Good Morning America on Tuesday.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA,” Strahan previously said in a statement. “It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience.”

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