Seacrest announced his departure from Live with Kelly and Ryan on Thursday after six years

Ryan Seacrest's departure from Live with Kelly and Ryan is certainly a shock for fans

but the team behind the popular morning show was well-prepared for this day to come.

As Seacrest revealed his plans to leave the series on Thursday after six seasons

he and co-host Kelly Ripa explained that they've "been talking about for a long time.

Seacrest and Ripa said he initially committed to co-hosting the series for three years.

The radio personality then explained that once American Idol returns this spring,

he will "head out to the West Coast and host that show." But he promised to return to "guest host and fill in" on occasion.