Ryan Seacrest is stepping away from his on-air daytime chair.
After six seasons of co-hosting Live with Kelly and Ryan alongside Kelly Ripa, the 48-year-old announced on Feb. 16 that he is leaving the daytime talk show, calling it a "hard decision" and one that was "bittersweet."
As for who will step in to replace the American Idol emcee? Kelly's new co-host is someone very close to home: Her husband of 26 years, Mark Consuelos—which means the show will aptly be renamed Live With Kelly and Mark in the future.
"Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career," Ryan said in a statement of his co-host, who has hosted the show since 2001. "She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other's lives, I will miss our mornings together."
Noting that he's "made memories to last a lifetime" with the entire staff and crew, Ryan added, "it's been a memorable ride and now I'm excited to pass the baton to Kelly's ‘real' husband, Mark."
But he's not only the one emotional about his departure.
"I'm so grateful to have spent the last six years beside my dear friend of too many decades to count and will miss starting my days with Ryan," Kelly shared in a statement. "Ryan's energy, passion and love for entertainment is one-of-a-kind."
Kelly also reflected on the decision in a sweet post shared to Instagram shortly after Ryan's announcement.
"When your friends become work mates become family," she wrote alongside a photo of herself, Mark and Ryan. "Congratulations @ryanseacrest on surviving six winters in NYC! I'm proud of you and am forever in your corner. And @instasuelos welcome home, or to the contractual obligation phase of our relationship."
As for what Ryan has in store next? The multihyphenate will jet back over to the West Coast to continue his American Idol hosting duties, including preparing for their upcoming live in Los Angeles.
However, viewers shouldn't be too surprised if Ryan makes a surprise Live appearance in the future, since the door remains open.
"Goodbyes are never easy, but we look forward to welcoming Ryan back regularly with open arms," the show's executive producer, Michael Gelman, said in a statement. "As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the ‘Live' family. Having him join the show is so special for us and we're sure that viewers will feel the same."