ABC announced Tuesday that Strahan will be departing Live! in September to take on a larger role at Good Morning America

By Lanford Beard
Updated April 20, 2016 12:55 PM
Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

brightcove.createExperiences(); There will be an empty chair next to Kelly Ripa come September, and she’s got two men in mind to fill it.

After Tuesday’s news that her Live! co-host Michael Strahan is exiting the show this fall to take on a larger role at Good Morning America, Ripa is looking to longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen as possible replacements.

“When Regis [Philbin] left, the person Kelly wanted more than anyone else was Anderson Cooper, but he was busy launching his own talk show,” a source tells PEOPLE.

“Now that he’d be free, she would love it to be him.”

The source does note that “the only strike against that – and against Andy Cohen, too – is that they’re such great friends in real life it might actually hurt the host chat element of things, where they each talk about what they did the night before or over the weekend, etc.”

Explains the source, “Regis and Kelly used to have a strict ‘no talking the hour before the show’ rule so that they’d have plenty to talk about, but Anderson and Andy and Kelly are all so close that it might almost be too much of a good thing.”

Both Cooper, 48, and Cohen, 47, have guest-co-hosted on Live! many times in the four years when Strahan was co-hosting with Ripa.

And on Wednesday, Strahan, 44, found himself bantering with another frequent guest co-host, Ana Gasteyer, while Ripa took the day off.

Though a rep for Live! told PEOPLE this was a planned vacation, another insider tells PEOPLE that Ripa, 45, is currently “refusing to come back” after being blindsided by Strahan’s move.

As of now, Ripa has no plans to return for the rest of the week, says the source, though she could decide to return any time.

Live! With Kelly and Michael airs weekdays (check local listings).