brightcove.createExperiences(); Michael Strahan may have shocked Kelly Ripa with his decision to leave Live! for Good Morning America, but when it came down to breaking the news to his co-host of four years, there was no question Strahan wanted to do it himself.
“He very much wanted to do the right thing,” a source tells PEOPLE. “It was important to him. He wanted to tell her in person and give her months notice.”
Since 2014, Strahan has appeared on GMA twice a week while simultaneously co-hosting Live! With Kelly and Michael, but starting in September he’ll become a full time co-anchor alongside Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer and Amy Robach.
While this should be a celebratory time for Strahan, one source says Ripa’s noticeable absence on Wednesday’s show has put a damper on his mood.
“He is hurt by her reaction, of course,” the source tells PEOPLE. “The very public way she’s handling this. You can’t not show up for work. If you’re going to have a meltdown you don’t do it publicly.”
As for Strahan, 44, he has no ill will towards Ripa, 45.
“My time with Live! With Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet,” he said on air Wednesday morning.
“Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans.”
Live! With Kelly and Michael airs weekdays (check local listings).