Michael Strahan's Good Morning America Deal Could Double His Current Salary, Says Source
04/21/2016 AT 02:20 PM EDT
After two years as a part-time correspondent on GMA, Strahan announced abruptly on Tuesday that he would vacate his spot as co-anchor of Live! in favor of a full-time gig at GMA.
A source associated with GMA tells PEOPLE that Strahan, 44, is looking at deal in excess of $20 million, which would nearly double his current salary, which another source estimates at $10-12 million.
To be sure, it's a high-stakes game for both shows, with a larger network strategy at play, a source told PEOPLE on Wednesday.
"They moved Michael because they are trying to close the gap [in ratings with the Today show] with a younger demographic" for GMA, said the source. "We're talking hundreds of millions of dollars. ... This was bigger than just Michael wanting to do more, because of the money involved. This would have been a company decision."
And though Strahan's news is undeniably positive both personally, professionally and potentially for the company at large, it was a shock for his co-host Kelly Ripa, 45, who has been absent from the broadcast since the news broke and who was "hurt and upset" by the handling of the situation, sources have confirmed to PEOPLE.
"She was told at the same time as the rest of the world was learning via press release, and she was told in a room full of suits, and Strahan just sat there, mostly mute," revealed one source.
Despite his mixed feelings about Ripa's reaction, Strahan once again spoke well of Ripa on Thursday morning's broadcast.
"I'm very thankful for her, to her, because I've learned so much from her," he said. "We're on the same team, same family, same network," he concluded.
For her part, Ripa shared a sunny smile on Thursday morning as she headed off to celebrate her 20th anniversary with husband Mark Consuelos and their children.
Live! With Kelly and Michael airs weekdays (check local listings).