Kathie Lee Gifford Is Leaving the ‘TODAY’ Show
It's the end of an era. This morning it was announced that legendary TV host and personality Kathie Lee Gifford has decided to step away from the TODAY show, where she's co-hosted the morning program's "fourth hour" with Hoda Kotb since 2008.
Kathie Lee tearfully announced her departure publicly on the show this morning (December 11), with friend and co-host Hoda by her side.
The announcement first came internally via a memo from Noah Oppenheim, the President of NBC News. In Oppenheim's memo, he gets right to the point, writing, "It is with mixed emotions that I share the news Kathie Lee Gifford has decided it’s time to leave TODAY."
The pair's famously wine-filled show is a loosely scripted hour of chats about celeb news and current events, plus celebrity guests, fan makeovers, and fun segments on everything from fall fashion to the best Christmas gifts, cheap home maintenance solutions, and more. Many would say Kathie Lee and Hoda's chemistry is a big part of why people have kept tuning in every day for over ten years. There will never be another hour of television quite like Kathie Lee and Hoda.
Before joining TODAY in 2008, Kathie Lee rose to TV fame on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, co-hosting with Regis Philbin for 12 years, from 1988 until 2000. The show is now known as Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Check out some of KLG and Hoda's best and funniest moments now, and then read the full NBC memo about Kathie Lee's exit below.
Read the NBC prez's full memo about Kathie Lee's TODAY exit below:
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.
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. 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.
Jimmy Fallon summed it up best when he channelled Kenny Rogers on the tenth anniversary show earlier this year: Through the years, Kathie Lee has never let us down, she’s turned our lives around and she’s brought some of the sweetest days we’ve found…
As Kathie Lee told me today: “In 2008, I joined the TODAY Show family intending to spend one year. 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 season in my life. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who made the years fly by.”
Kathie Lee is generously staying with us through the show’s next anniversary, April 7, 2019. We will have much more to share before then about our plans for that hour, which will, of course, continue to include Hoda.
Please join me in congratulating Kathie Lee on a dazzling run at TODAY. We look forward to celebrating her in the months to come.
We'll miss you and your Friday Funny jokes, Kathie Lee! Thanks for all the moments, both hilarious and touching, alongside Hoda for all these years.