Beloved daytime TV anchor Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving the co-host chair on the fourth hour of NBC’s long-running “Today” show.
The 65-year-old legend made the announcement alongside her longtime co-host Hoda Kotb, who has shared the 10 a.m. slot with Gifford since 2008. The famous TV personality will be leaving the show April 2019.
— Kathie Lee and Hoda (@klgandhoda) December 11, 2018
“I thought I would stay one year. Something happened along the way — I fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess,” Gifford said of Kotb. “We’re going to be friends for the rest of our lives. I’m grateful to God for you.”
With tears in her eyes, Kotb told Gifford “everything” in her life changed “the minute you stepped into my life.”
“God’s used you in my life every bit as much as he’s used me in yours,” Gifford said. “That’s the way it goes. No crumbs on his table.”
Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, sent an email to staff just minutes before Gifford announced her departure. In it, he said Gifford’s “plate has been overflowing lately with film, music and book projects, and after giving us 11 extraordinary years, she’s decided to focus her attention full-time on those other creative endeavors.”
During her many years on the “Today” show, Oppenheim continued, Gifford “has cemented her status as one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television.”
“In short,” he concluded, “she is a legend.”