Kathie Lee Gifford to Leave the "Today Show"
Updated: Dec 12, 2018
She will end an 11 year run on the NBC morning program next spring.
In a surprise announcement this morning, Kathie Lee Gifford broke the news to her audience live on the air. Flanked by Hoda Kotb, her co-host, she said she would depart next April after the 11th anniversary of the fourth hour of the program.
An outspoken Christian, Gifford helped launch that portion of the Today Show back in 2008, and she hand picked Kotb to join her on that final hour. The two have grown extremely close since then and the tears flowed during the announcement.
Already a star of morning television from her years on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Gifford said she had initially planned to do the Today Show job for just one year, but decided to continue because she and Kotb established such a good relationship.
"We weren't colleagues very long: we became friends. And now we're going to be friends for the rest of our lives. And I'm grateful to God for you."
In a memo to company staff, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim cited Gifford's busy schedule with outside projects as the reason for her departure. He also praised her and Kotb, saying, "they have delighted our audience with their distinct brand of fun, friendship and adventure." He went on to single out Gifford for her efforts.
"Kathie Lee has cemented her status as one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television. In short – she is a legend."
You can watch her Today Show departure announcement via this clip on YouTube.