Kathie Lee Gifford to Leave NBC's 'Today'
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Kathie Lee Gifford will leave "Today" after more than a decade co-hosting the fourth hour of the NBC morning franchise.
Gifford wants to spend more time focused on a variety of media projects, and said during Monday's broadcast that her decision was "bittersweet, as these things are." She expects to stay with the program through April 7th of next year - her 11th anniversary co-hosting the hour with Hoda Kotb.
"It's an exciting time for me, and I'm thrilled about all the projects that are coming up, but it's also hard," Gifford said on "Today" this morning.
Her departure will mark the end of a pairing that has blossomed into a morning favorite. When Gifford and Kotb were first matched together in 2008, it drew attention. Gifford, known for her many years hosting ABC's syndicated "Live" with Regis Philbin, would often poke fun at her co-host, a veteran of NBC News' "Dateline." "Saturday Night Live" spoofed the show. But something happened: Kotb and Gifford's banter and rambling conversation drew fans. NBC began to offer repeats of the show to local stations to run overnight, and Gifford and Kotb became cult favorites.
Their show is the loosest hour in NBC's "Today" lineup. There are no weather segments, no newsreader. But the hosts drink wine (Gifford's product) on set and talk freely throughout the hour.
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