Kathie Lee Gifford Announces Her Replacement on ‘Today Show’
Kathie Lee Gifford’s replacement for the Today Show‘s fourth hour will be Jenna Bush Hager.
Gifford and co-host Hoda Kotb made the announcement Tuesday morning, revealing that Bush Hager, who often fills in as a guest host, will permanently take the spot.
“I’m so excited, I can’t believe it,” Bush Hager, 37, told People Magazine for their upcoming issue, on stands Friday. “It feels organic and it feels right. It just feels like the right time for me.”
Gifford has been a host on Today for nearly 11 years. She announced in December that she is stepping down to pursue personal projects, including producing Christian films.
“I have something to share with everybody, and it’s bittersweet as these things always are,” she said on the day she announced her departure. “It’s an exciting time for me, and I’m thrilled about all the projects that are coming up. But it’s also hard … because I love everybody here so much.”
A source tells People that Bush Hager is the natural replacement because of her rapport with the crew and the audience alike.
“She is a favorite among viewers and staffers and she has already filled in for Kathie Lee every time she’s been away,” the source said.