They’ve got different plans! Kathie Lee Gifford has officially announced that she’s leaving Today after hosting the four-hour morning show for more than a decade, so who’s up next? Rumors have been swirling that she’ll be replaced by Jenna Bush Hager, but insiders tell In Touch exclusively that she’s not their top contender.
It’s widely speculated that Jenna, 37, is the frontrunner for Kathie’s spot when she leaves on her 11th anniversary in April 2019. Jenna joined the program in September 2009 and has filled in for the TV personality on several occasions before, so she’s clearly built up a rapport with viewers, but it seems the higher-ups are keeping their options open at this point in time. “Not so fast, with Jenna Bush Hager,” TV sources reveal exclusively to In Touch. “The show is looking for more diversity.”
Kathie, 65, revealed her big news during the show’s 10 o’clock hour, sharing a heartfelt goodbye with her millions of viewers. “OK, I have something to share with everybody. It’s bittersweet as these things always are, but I have been here almost 11 years,” she said. “It’s an exciting time for me and I’m thrilled about the projects coming up, but it’s also hard is because the reason I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here. I have been in this business 20 years and never worked with a more beautiful group of people who just give, give, give every day, four hours of live television five days a week.”
“We laugh and support one another and know each other’s kids names and know when somebody is having a colonoscopy,” Kathie continued. She also made sure to acknowledge her longtime co-host Hoda Kotb, 54, amid reports their relationship has changed. “Thank you so much,” Kathie added, while dedicating a special goodbye message to Hoda as they prepared for this new chapter.
Jenna also took to social media with a heartwarming message bidding Kathie adieu. “We adore you KLG. Thanks for your love, friendship and for your hilarity. You will be dearly missed,” she tweeted alongside a red heart emoji. We’ll have to wait and see who takes Kathie’s spot!
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