After four years, Michael Strahan will be saying goodbye to his chair alongside Kelly Ripa on Live! with Kelly and Michael. He is just the latest celebrity to pass through the morning entertainment news program after taking over for Regis Philbin in 2012.
The big question now is: Who will take over for Michael? The process of finding a new host took over a year last time, and Ripa’s apparent astonishment at the news of Strahan’s departure has been some of the juiciest celebrity gossip to ever hit the daytime talk show circuit.
Whoever they may find, no one will be likely to live up to Michael’s great presence. Not only is the former NFL player truly blessed with the gift of gab, he’s been a notable figure in black entertainment news shows. His entrance on ABC’s Live! came just shortly after the end of the long reign of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 season from 1986 to 2011. Though Oprah is still a queen of television entertainment history, her ten-million strong audience surely would welcome her back on the air any day.
Strahan won’t be going too far — he’ll be joining the roster on Good Morning America instead. Still, his visibility to the black community is important for daytime television. While there are more than 45 million people of African-American heritage living in the U.S. — that’s 15% of the entire population — their numbers in the media are still woefully underrepresented, especially on daytime programs like Live!.
It might be hard to blame Strahan for wanting to get out of a fluff news program like Live! that really only focuses on the latest celebrity promotional film campaigns instead of real news. With Good Morning America, he’ll be better poised to talk about the issues that matter.
As a celebrity working his way up in prestige, Strahan may be able to influence audiences on an even greater scale: 45% of Americans believe that celebrities can have a positive impact on the promotion of causes. Perhaps Strahan can help bring the nation up to speed on media representation issues by using his well-rehearsed charm and charisma on a different kind of daytime program audience. Reference links. Helpful sites.