Michael Strahan to Join ‘Good Morning America’

StrahanMichael Strahan will continue his role as co-host of Live! With Kelly and Michael, but will be adding a part-time gig as part of the staff of Good Morning America when he joins the cast of the morning news program. The official announcement is expected sometime this week.

The 42-year-old former New York Giant found out Tuesday night that he had been selected for the job when he checked the news on his cell phone after attending a screening of the Captain America movie.

He announced the GMA decision this morning on Live! With Kelly and Michael, but still sounded a little vague about it. When Ripa asked if he was going to take the job, Strahan said he did not know for sure, but if he read the papers correctly he is. Talks had been going on with ABC News executives for some time.

The GMA contract makes Strahan a busy man. He has made it clear that Live is his priority and that he is definitely staying on. He is also a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday during football season. Now he will be seen several times a week during the first hour of GMA, starting at 7 a.m.

Strahan’s role after joining Good Morning America is not clearly defined. He joins Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, George Stephanopoulos, Amy Robach, and Ginger Zee on the cast of the top-rated morning show. He is not expected to be a replacement to anyone, even though two key GMA staff members have departed in the last four months.

The GMA contract makes Strahan a busy man. He has made it clear that “Live” is his priority and that he is definitely staying on.

Former GMA news anchor Josh Elliott is moving to rival NBC as host and contributor at NBC Sports. An official announcement of that change is expected today. Weatherman Sam Champion left last winter for a job hosting a three-hour morning program on The Weather Channel.

The only man remaining on the GMA staff since those changes is Stephanopoulos, and ABC hopes that Strahan will fill some of the testosterone void left by the departures of Elliott and Champion. Elliott also had an athletic background as well as wide appeal with women, who are the major part of the demographic for morning shows.

The 6’5” 275-pound Strahan played college football for Texas Southern University and went to the New York Giants as a defensive lineman in the 1993 NFL draft.  He retired in 2008 as one of the all-time sack leaders in the league. He played his entire professional career as a Giant, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February, 2014. He is a six-time All-Pro defensive end, and a seven-time Pro Bowl player.

Strahan joined Kelly Ripa as cohost of the morning show Live! With Kelly and Michael in August 2012.

Strahan said he cannot do GMA every day because he is too busy. After appearing on different GMA segments at 7 a.m. he will go one mile north to Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Both GMA and Live are Disney-owned and both appear on ABC, making it possible for Strahan to scurry back and forth between the two morning shows. Good Morning America begins at 9 a.m. Ripa says she will have plenty of coffee ready for Strahan after he joins GMA and has to do early morning double duty.

By Beth A. Balen

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