How Mark Consuelos Supported Kelly Ripa During the 'Live!' Drama

Kelly Ripa tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story that she and Live! staffmembers decided to move forward Michael Strahan's departure


Kelly Ripa didn’t have to face the recent drama surrounding Michael Strahan‘s exit from Live! alone.

Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos offered the co-host much-needed support following the announcement last month that Strahan, 44, would be leaving the talk show after four years to expand his role at Good Morning America.

“Mark is such a smart guy and is always in the face of business very dispassionate,” Ripa tells PEOPLE in an interview for this week’s cover story. “He looks at it like a business decision, and he says to me, ‘There’s nobody better at this than you,’ spoken like a supportive spouse.”

After the news of Strahan’s exit broke, Ripa, 45, and her husband, 46, jetted off to an already-planned 20th anniversary getaway, along with children Michael, 18, Lola, 14 and Joaquin, 13.

She says Consuelos was able to put the Strahan incident in perspective by noting that the network’s decision not to include her in discussions about her co-host’s exit was a vote of confidence – not a slight.

To read the full interview with Kelly Ripa, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

“He said, ‘They trust you. There’s a reason that it’s sort of taken for granted that you’re going to prevail and find another incredible host, because they’ve seen you do it in the past,’ ” says Ripa, who last faced replacing a co-host when Regis Philbin exited Live! in 2011.

Says Ripa, “He just put it together in a beautiful package for me and made it very palatable, very matter-of-fact and very sensible.”

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

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