Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan absent for GMA co-star’s final episode as tribute arrives

robin roberts and michael strahan face shots from gma on abc
GMA’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan were away from the studio for their co-star’s tribute. Pic credit: ABC

Over the years, George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, Michael Strahan, and other TV personalities have become familiar faces at Good Morning America.

This week, viewers haven’t seen Robin or Michael alongside George as the trio that typically anchors the morning program.

Instead, there have been several replacement anchors, including Rebecca Jarvis, Whit Johnson, and Linsey Davis.

On Thursday, GMA said goodbye to a longtime contributor, ABC News’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

In April, Monsters and Critics reported that Dr. Jen announced she would leave the show this month.

Various colleagues sat with Dr. Jen for a special GMA tribute as they looked back at her memorable moments on the show and said farewell.

GMA says goodbye to longtime contributor Dr. Jen

GMA’s June 27 episode featured Rebecca, Whit, Ginger Zee, Lara Spencer, and Sam Champion seated with Dr. Jen on white chairs and sofas. Their backdrop featured various photos of Dr. Jen and others as part of a tribute.

The group applauded after seeing a series of video tributes from people Dr. Jen worked with as part of the GMA crew and the ABC News medical unit. George said that she’s worked there for “nearly 13 years.”

“This morning, we are celebrating her last day as our chief medical correspondent here at ABC News,” Lara said.

GMA presented a reel of memorable moments from Dr. Jen’s various appearances on Good Morning America. Watch the complete video below featuring the tribute from her GMA colleagues.

After the video, George, seated next to Dr. Jen in the GMA studio for her tribute, called it a “privilege” for everyone to work with her at GMA. They played one more tribute message as actor Chris Hemsworth appeared and wished Dr. Jen well.

“It’s really hard work sometimes,” Dr. Jen joked about previously appearing in a health segment with the actor.

The in-studio tribute included Dr. Jen’s family, including her brother, parents, and children, who appeared in the studio and delivered additional remarks about their mother’s career. GMA’s celebration included a gorgeous cake and balloons for the farewell party.

As mentioned, Robin and Michael were noticeably absent during Dr. Jen’s GMA send-off. Robin has missed GMA for over a week as she vacations with her spouse, Amber Laign, in beautiful Portugal. Her trip included going there early to present various reports for GMA about the country’s scenery, foods, culture, and people.

Michael has not shared details about his absence from the show on social media. However, his daughter, Isabella, completed chemotherapy earlier this month and could be resting and recovering before she heads back to college.

Robin and Michael delivered remarks about their GMA co-star on her final day

While Michael and Robin weren’t in the studio to bid farewell, they delivered kind words in pre-recorded interviews for their colleague.

“Dr Jen is passionate and compassionate, and that’s what you want, especially from a doctor,” Robin said.

Michael praised the “energy she brings to GMA” every time she’s involved in the show, joking that she “brings in medical fun.”

“She breaks it down in a way that you understand and does it with just an energy that makes you interested,” Michael said.

Robin said Dr. Jen’s “vulnerability is a strength” and “takes courage” after GMA’s tribute showed clips from reports about her ex-husband Rob’s death by suicide.

“It takes courage to share something so personal, and Jen did it in hopes of helping others,” she said.

Robin also said she’d learned to “advocate” for herself from Dr. Jen, while Michael said he learned not to be afraid of asking questions and “don’t ignore things.”

“I absolutely love you and know we have a long life of friendship ahead of us,” Michael said.

“Say it ain’t so! Say it ain’t so, Jen!” Robin said, calling her “a friend” and “wonderful teammate and colleague.”

The tribute video featured additional remarks from others, including Jen’s GMA3 co-stars Eva Pilgrim and DeMarco Morgan, her daughter Chloe, and her son Alex.

What’s next for Dr. Jen Ashton after GMA?

During the emotional tribute video, Dr. Jen’s adult children mentioned how their mom always dedicates herself to “going through something” so she could “translate” it for people’s health situations.

Over four minutes into her tribute video, Dr. Jen wiped away tears, following the various footage about her ex-husband’s suicide and her offering mental health advice to viewers as part of GMA reports.

As she departs ABC News programs, she will continue to offer valuable health information to help others.

Part of Dr. Jen’s leaving ABC News and GMA is that she started her own business, which involves health and wellness.

The emotional tribute video revealed that Dr. Jen started a free newsletter, Ajenda, weeks ago as part of that business.

Details on the newsletter’s online sign-up page indicate it brings “science-backed” information about “menopause, weight loss, and women’s health” to your inbox weekly.

While she won’t appear anymore as a regular contributor to ABC News, GMA, or GMA3 programs, Dr. Jen said she’s “always on call for GMA and ABC News.”

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