Michael Strahan will leave “Live” on May 13

Michael Strahan will depart “Live” on May 13 – much sooner than originally planned – following a tense few days apart from co-host Kelly Ripa.

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Strahan announced last week he was leaving “Live” in several months’ time, to focus on “Good Morning America.” Ripa stayed away for days afterward, returning on Tuesday with well wishes for her co-host and appreciation to fans for their understanding while she processed the information.

Now comes word that Strahan will bolt in just a couple of weeks, according to a statement from the show released to USA Today.

“After meeting with the producers of both ‘Live’ and ‘Good Morning America,’ and after speaking with both Kelly and Michael, we have decided on a plan that best advantages both shows for the future,” Disney ABC spokesman Kevin Brockman said in the statement. Strahan’s May 13 exit will provide a ratings boost during a key sweeps period and will allow “Live” to start the search for his replacement in earnest, he added.

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