Entertainment TV Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa Reveal His Exit from 'Live' Has Been in the Works for a 'Long Time' Seacrest announced his departure from Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday after six years By Dory Jackson Dory Jackson Instagram Twitter Website Dory Jackson is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE's digital TV team. While at the brand, she's had the opportunity to interview a long list of celebrities, from Kate Hudson to Pierce Brosnan to Billy Porter. She also recaps popular TV shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules.The New York-based Maryland native graduated from Randolph-Macon College in May 2016 with a focus in Communication Studies and Journalism. She came to PEOPLE in March 2021 after working at a number of major news companies, including Newsweek and Us Weekly. She also previously co-hosted a podcast called "Idol Nation." People Editorial Guidelines and 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 10:11 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Ryan Seacrest's departure from Live with Kelly and Ryan is certainly a shock for fans, but the team behind the popular morning show was well-prepared for this day to come. As Seacrest revealed his plans to leave the series on Thursday after six seasons, he and co-host Kelly Ripa explained that they've "been talking about for a long time." "It was a tough, tough decision," said Seacrest, 48. "Last year, we spoke and I made the decision to make this my last season as co-host with Kel, here, on Live with Kelly and Ryan, which is bittersweet." Ryan Seacrest Departing Live, Kelly Ripa to Be Joined by Husband Mark Consuelos Permanently Seacrest and Ripa said he initially committed to co-hosting the series for three years. "He was supposed to be here for three years. We were like, 'Oh don't be ridiculous — you already moved your sofa here!'" Ripa, 52, explained as Seacrest responded, "But three turned into six because of the genuine fun of being on this television show every hour of every day." The radio personality then explained that once American Idol returns this spring, he will "head out to the West Coast and host that show." But he promised to return to "guest host and fill in" on occasion. ABC/Jeff Neira Seacrest expressed his gratitude for his time on the show — and for having Ripa by his side. "I have to say to you as a dear friend coming in and as a best friend in this moment, to have your kindness, your thoughtfulness, your levity, your friendship — I look up to you, I respect you so much," he told Ripa. "I love the fact that we get the chance to sit here every day and connect with you at home in your kitchens, your living rooms, at work. There's nothing like this on television." Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. ABC Entertainment It was also confirmed that Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos, 51, would step in as his replacement. Consuelos's stint will begin in the next few months, though he will be stopping by during Friday's show. Seacrest previously joined Live in 2017 after Michael Strahan's departure from the series. Strahan, 51, has been with Good Morning America ever since. 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).