“I don’t consider this just the workplace. This is my second home”appearance on Live!, the talk show she co-hosts with Michael Strahan, since news broke last week of Strahan’s impending departure to take a full-time gig at Good Morning America. Ripa, unhappy with the manner in which she had been told of a major change in the lineup of her show, added extra time off to a pre-planned vacation. That led to a fairly uncomfortable set of episodes in which the competing interests of TV’s chummiest cohosts were revealed.
Returning Tuesday, Ripa allowed herself a moment of umbrage. In her words: “I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts. After 26 years with this company, I earned the right.”
The show seemed constructed to redress Ripa’s feelings of discontent in the most elaborate manner possible. At the top of the show, Ripa and Strahan entered the set hand-in-hand, but the camera quickly came in tight on Ripa as she delivered uninterrupted remarks to the viewers at home, starting with some gags about just how serious a personnel change at a talk show is in the scheme of things. “Our long national nightmare is over,” she said self-deprecatingly. “I’m fairly certain there are trained professional snipers with tranquilizer darts in case I get too far ‘off-message.'” But it wasn’t entirely jokiness. She referred to the past week’s discussion over the future of Live! as the start of “a much greater conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect.”
“And since we’re being honest,” she said, “I don’t consider this just the workplace. This is my second home.” Ripa’s spent a career’s worth of effort building up Live!; the implication about how much, or how little, her bosses respected her work couldn’t be more clear.
Live! has always been about repartee, but this was Ripa’s moment. Alone in the frame (with Strahan’s laughter, and then his applause at Ripa’s more heartfelt points, eerily audible), the conversation, here, was between Ripa and her viewership. Forget Live! With Kelly and Michael; it was Live! With Kelly and You.
|Kelly Ripa received a one minute standing ovation. She clearly struck a chord with the country. Did her Ann Curry moment send a message to bosses everywhere?
When bosses make changes how should they break the news to the employees? What can company leaders learn from Kelly Ripa about respect and communication?