"I'm very thankful for her, to her, because I've learned so much from her. And [executive producer] Michael Gelman showed me the ropes. I was so new to all of this and if it weren't for her and it weren't for Michael Gelman and the staff there that really boosted me up and made me look a lot better than I really am, I never would have had a chance to be here and I'm grateful that I'm here.
"We're on the same team, same family, same network," he concluded.
News that Strahan is departing Live! With Kelly and Michael in September to join GMA full-time has led to massive fallout, including claims that Ripa was furious after being "blindsided" by the announcement.
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Ripa was absent from Live! for a second day in a row on Thursday – replaced by Erin Andrews. On Wednesday, PEOPLE reported that Ripa and her family are headed to Turks and Caicos for a vacation.
Strahan got cheers on GMA on Thursday when he announced he would be joining the show full-time.
"I'm ready. I need some tips on how to wake up early everyday. That's gonna be first and foremost," Strahan joked to GMA's hosts.
However, he said he would miss co-hosting with Ripa. "It's like my second family here. I'm gonna miss everybody at Live!, I mean sitting next to Kelly everyday and having a lot of fun on that show the last four years."
Later, on Live!, after making a bawdy joke Andrews teased an embarrassed Strahan, asking, "So what else has been going on here?"
"Too early, too soon!" Strahan replied, though it was unclear whether he was responded to the innuendo or the news of his departure.
A source told PEOPLE that Ripa is "feeling so hurt and betrayed" by Strahan's move, with another insider revealing that the star is mainly upset with how he handled breaking the news.
"She's not of the opinion that signing up with Live! has to be some sort of lifelong commitment," the source said. "But there is a way to go about things, with courtesy and respect and decency, and none of those things were done here."
They continued, "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."
Strahan, in turn, is "hurt by her reaction," according to another source.
"You can't not show up for work. If you're going to have a meltdown you don't do it publicly," the insider said.
Live! With Kelly and Michael airs weekdays (check local listings).