Katie Couric on Kelly Ripa: 'Frankly, I Think She Maybe Didn't Feel as Included as She Should Have' Before Michael Strahan Blindside

04/25/2016 AT 05:00 PM EDT

Katie Couric understands the high-pressure world of morning TV news – and she has some thoughts on the drama surrounding Michael Strahan's upcoming departure from Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Couric, 59, says she gets the frustration on the part of Strahan's co-host Kelly Ripa, who multiple sources told PEOPLE last week was blindsided by the news.

"Love Kelly. Love Michael. I'm sure they're going to work it out," Couric told PEOPLE Monday at a lunch at the Waldorf Astoria. "I think transitions are tricky. And frankly, I think she maybe didn't feel as included as she should have."

PEOPLE previously exclusively confirmed Ripa, 45, would be returning to Live! Tuesday after being absent from the show since the news that Strahan would be leaving for Good Morning America broke last week.



Couric says including Ripa in the process of Strahan's exit would have made sense.

"I think that's a major decision and you would like to think that it's something she is a part of," said Couric, who was attending the New York Women in Communications presents The 2016 Matrix Awards. "It's perplexing as to why she wasn't. But I think she is a consummate professional. I know she'll show up and give it 100 percent."

Ripa emailed her staff late Friday night, thanking them

for their support.

"I wanted to thank you all for giving me the time to process this new information,” she wrote in an email to staff. "Your kindness, support and love has overwhelmed me. We are a family and I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday morning."

Live! With Kelly and Michael airs weekdays (check local listings).
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