Ryan Seacrest has been named Kelly Ripa‘s co-host on ABC’s Live.

RYAN SEACREST JOINS LIVE AS KELLY RIPA’S CO-HOST

Ripa, 46, has been the host of the show since 2001. “Today, the next chapter of the Live story is about to be written,” Ripa announced before thinking previous temporary co-hosts. “So happy, so exciting,” said Seacrest as he joined his fellow co-host.

“We welcome Ryan’s energy, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit and look forward to all the possibilities that the future holds,” said Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood.

Live airs during the 9 am TV block in most markets and competes with the third hour of NBC’s Today. Live has often won that head-to-head, and with Seacrest in the passenger seat, NBC seems nervous. The channel is planning to air their new talk show with Megyn Kelly this fall in the 9 a.m. spot to compete.

“It’s always interesting to me when people try to pit us against other shows,” Ripa explained of the competition. “We don’t compare ourselves to anybody because we are the only ones who do what we do.”

Seacrest, 42, is one of Hollywood’s busiest personalities. The former American Idol host also recently renewed red carpet coverage contracts with E! Network, will continue to host ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, and will continue to lead the iHeartMedia syndicated radio shows. This includes On Air with Ryan Seacrest, which airs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pacific time, only now Seacrest will record from Manhattan.

“Very few people have both the appeal and the work ethic to accomplish this,” said Robert W. Pittman, chief executive of iHeartMedia. “I’m pleased to see him return to another regular TV platform.”

“It’s making sure the show is in the right hands — one day, eventually, I’m sure of it, I will retire,” Ripa said. “And Ryan Seacrest, who is a seamless broadcaster and a kind human being, is the one who can take this show into the future.”

“She is so smooth and seamless and wonderfully clever and quick — she’s part of people’s lives, in their living rooms,” Seacrest said of Ripa. “And I want to come in as a friend of hers and as a friend to the audience.”

Ripa, for her part, revealed she had chosen Seacrest for herself back in November when he appeared on the show to do a cooking segment with his mother. The pair made oyster casserole, and the whole endeavor was fairly awkward. “It’s like he didn’t even know what a kitchen is,” Ripa said. “And I thought, ‘Did we finally find a flaw in this person? Interesting.'”