Michael Gelman brings 'Live with Kelly and Ryan' to audiences amid COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest are working remotely while sheltering in place and hosting "Live with Kelly and Ryan" every day, and their fans have responded by tuning in.

Their weekly ratings are up by almost 20%, even though both hosts and Executive Producer Michael Gelman have had to adapt to a new way of working.

"I'm learning about all this technology, as so many of us are," Ryan told the audience this week, and Kelly added, "I have reached my personal bandwidth."

Meanwhile, Gelman is coordinating it all from his home office.

Speaking with me using the same video conferencing he employs for the syndicated program, Gelman said, "The biggest challenge is technology. The biggest challenge is communication, and just getting it all coordinated."

Gelman has recruited his daughter to help out because during every show, he's got his hands full.

"Six or seven devices going at the same time," he said. "I've got the laptop. I've got different FaceTimes to each of the hosts. I've got a Zoom meeting with the staff. I've got another phone line open to the control room."

Daughter Jamie Gelman is home from college, doing courses remotely and working with her dad.

"I obviously respected him before," she said. "But seeing him in his element, it's so impressive."

It's a chance to bond for them, and for millions of viewers at home. Gelman says the e-mails he gets prove it.

"The audience is really appreciating the fact that we made the effort to get on the air, that we're bringing them some kind of normalcy," he said.

That comes with some good cheer as well, giving them a "Laugh With Live" and introducing hometown heroes like a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service who conferenced in this week.

Some might argue this current situation has brought the hosts closer to their audience, even though they're physically further away.

"We all have the same fears of what's going to happen," Gelman said. "All those things are being experienced by the hosts that are being experienced by people at home, and we're all going through this together."

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