The fourth hour of Today is about to see a new face alongside Hoda Kotb! After Kathie Lee Gifford‘s shell-shocking exit announcement from the NBC talk show, it’s been revealed that she will be replaced by Jenna Bush Hager!
“It feels humbling and I can’t believe it,” Jenna said during the show on Tuesday, February 26. “My dad just wrote me three words, which made me weep. He said, ‘Very proud dad.’” She joked, “Which I’m like, what is there to be proud about? I’m just drinking wine in the morning!”
Kathie Lee announced her big departure in mid-December 2018, but sources revealed the network had been looking for her replacement long before that. “NBC desperately wants younger viewers and at 65, she’s long in the tooth,” a source previously dished to The National ENQUIRER. “They want someone who can be a counterpart to Craig Melvin, who isn’t even 40 yet.”
Jenna is 37 years old and has been on Today since 2009.
Kathie Lee is saying goodbye to Today after 10 years this coming April, and as The ENQUIRER previously reported, it’s because she was furious with NBC over how they handled the Megyn Kelly and Matt Lauer situations. “She thought NBC acted like it was a news network in a nanny state, and she could no longer go on because common sense had been overtaken by madness,” an insider told The ENQUIRER.
And as Closer Weekly previously reported, she was just “over” working at Today. “Kathie Lee Gifford first signed with Today she had a lot of perks. Now a lot of the perks she had have gone and she’s just over working at Today,” the insider explained. “Now she finds herself sitting alone in the basement with everyone else having fun hanging out in the dressing rooms on the first floor. Hoda has literally moved out on her. And moved upstairs.”
That said, she knew it was “finally time to move on.” The source added, “Kathie Lee wanted out, it was becoming clearer that it was finally time to move on. She really prayed about it. She loved most of the people she worked with, Hoda, and her crew especially, but she wasn’t happy with the upper brass, decisions that they were making, and the changes she knew were on the horizon.”
Only time will tell how Jenna’s move to the fourth hour shakes things up at Today!