After more than a decade as a co-host of the ‘Today’ Show’s fourth hour, Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving the show, NBC confirmed on Dec. 11.
The Today Show is about to be drastically different — Kathie Lee Gifford, 65, leaving her co-hosting gig on the show, the head of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim, revealed on Dec. 11. In a memo, he wrote, “It is with mixed emotions that I share the news Kathie Lee Gifford has decided it’s time to leave TODAY. As we all know, Kathie Lee’s plate has been overflowing lately with film, music and book projects and after giving us eleven extraordinary years, she’s decided to focus her attention full-time on those other creative endeavors.” Kathie Lee also confirmed the news while hosting the show that morning.
Kathie Lee hosts the fourth hour of the Today Show alongside Hoda Kotb. She will be staying on in her position until April 7, 2019, which is the her 11th anniversary with the program. “When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda & Kathie Lee,” the NBC memo continued. “Whether in studio or on one of their many road trips, they have delighted our audience with their distinct brand of fun, friendship and adventure. During that time, Kathie Lee has cemented her status as one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television. IN short — she is a legend.”
Noah also shared Kathie Lee’s own statement on the situation. “In 2008, I joined the TODAY Show family intending to spend one year,” she admitted. “But something unexpected happened along the way: I fell in love with a beautiful, talented, extraordinary 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. 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 session in my life. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who made the years fly by.”
BREAKING: Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving the TODAY show in April 2019. It’ll be her 11th anniversary! pic.twitter.com/RzBQPJaedJ
— Cori Coffin (@CoriCoffin) December 11, 2018
NBC confirmed that Hoda will continue to be part of the fourth hour after Kathie Lee leaves the show. Hoda also serves as the main co-anchor on TODAY‘s morning news show, alongside Savannah Guthrie. She took the position after Matt Lauer’s firing at the end of 2017.
Before arriving at the TODAY Show, Kathie Lee hosted Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee with Regis Philbin from 1988 until 2000. She went on to become a special correspondent for The Insider in 2005, but left that position when she started working on the Today Show in 2008.