Kathie Lee Gifford has announced today that after 10 years of co-hosting the fourth hour of Today, that she will be leaving.
NBC News chief, Noah Oppenheim made the announcement this morning in a memo to staff, “Kathie Lee is generously staying with us through the show’s next anniversary, April 7th, 2019. We will have much more to share before then about our plans for that hour, which will, of course, continue to include Hoda (Kotb),” said Oppenheim.
Oppenheim described Gifford as a “legend,” pointing to her “enduring and endearing talents in morning television.”
Gifford started to host the 10 a.m. hour of the Today show – known for it’s celebrity guests and lively, wine-filled conversations with Kotb on 2008.
“In 2008, I joined the Today show family intending to spend one year,” Gifford said on Tuesday morning. “But something unexpected happened along the way: I fell in love with a beautiful, talented, extradorinaiy Egyptian goddess named Hoda, and an amazing group of individuals who work tirelessly and joyfully at their jobs, many of them starting at midnight, creating an unprecedented four hours of live television.”
Added Gifford, “I stayed year after year making a million memories with people I will never forget. I leave Today with a grateful heart but I’m truly excited for this new creative season in my life. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who made the years fly by.”
Gifford continued by saying “It’s an exciting time for me and I’m thrilled about all the projects that are coming up, but it’s also hard,” she said fighting back tears. “The reason I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here so much. I’ve been in this business for 120 years and never worked with a more beautiful group of people who just give, give, give every day for four hours of live television every day, five days a week. We have fun and we laugh and we support one another. We know each other’s kids’ names, we know when someone is having a colonoscopy – we know everything! We do life together and nobody more so than my Hoda.”
Before Today, Gifford co-hosted Live With Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Regis Philbin for more than a decade. This will be the first time Gifford isn’t hosting a morning talk show in years.
We are all excited to see what Gifford plans are next.