Entertainment TV Ryan Seacrest Departing 'Live', Kelly Ripa to Be Joined by Husband Mark Consuelos Permanently The show will be officially rebranded as Live with Kelly and Mark By Dave Quinn Dave Quinn Instagram Twitter Dave Quinn is an Editor for PEOPLE, working across a number of verticals including the Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 16, 2023 09:19 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Ryan Seacrest is saying goodbye to Live with Kelly and Ryan and his replacement is someone very familiar to co-host Kelly Ripa. On Thursday, the longtime broadcaster — who joined the syndicated ABC daytime show in 2017 — announced his exit from the series, with plans to move back to the west coast this spring ahead of the American Idol live shows in Los Angeles. In his departure, Seacrest will be permanently replaced with actor Mark Consuelos, Ripa's husband. The show will be officially rebranded as Live with Kelly and Mark. Leaving was a "tough, tough" decision, Seacrest noted on the show, and a "bittersweet" one. He honored his bond with Ripa. "Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career," said Seacrest, 48, in a statement. "She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other's lives, I will miss our mornings together." "I also want to thank [executive producer] Michael Gelman and the entire staff and crew — we've made memories to last a lifetime, met some of the most incredible people and had the warmest welcome into the homes of so many viewers across America," he added. "It's been a memorable ride and now I'm excited to pass the baton to Kelly's 'real' husband, Mark." Ripa, 52, shared her fondness for her friendship with Seacrest, too, calling him a "dear, dear friend" on the show. "I'm so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan," she said in a statement. "Ryan's energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind." Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC "I can't thank you enough on all of our behalf," she said on Thursday's show. "There is nobody else like you. There is nobody who can really do what you do. I know you in real life as well as TV life. I say this about very few people: what you see is what you get. This is not an act, this is a good man. I am so endlessly impressed by you." Kelly Ripa on the Strength of Her 20-Year Bond with Ryan Seacrest: 'He's the Kid Brother I Never Had' Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution/Pawel Kaminski This marks the third co-host Ripa has worked with since she joined the show in 2001. She began alongside Regis Philbin in 2001, replacing Kathie Lee Gifford after her exit from the series she and Philbin helped rise to national prominence. Shortly after celebrating his and Ripa's 10th anniversary together, Philbin announced his exit from Live. His last show was in November 2011 (Philbin died in July 2020 at the age of 88). Michael Strahan stepped in from there, hosting the show from September 2012 until April 2016, when it was announced he would leave Live to join Good Morning America full-time. Seacrest made his debut nearly a year later. The radio star, who also joined as an executive producer, had initially signed on to host the show for three years and ended up staying on for six. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. Eugene Gologursky/Getty Meanwhile over the years, Conseulos — who has been married to Ripa since 1996 — has stepped in to guest-host multiple times, including during times Seacrest was away filming Idol. "As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the Live family," Gelman said in a statement. "Having him join the show is so special for us and we're sure that viewers will feel the same." "Goodbyes are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms," added Gelman. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Live with Kelly and Ryan airs weekdays (check local listings).