In the hours after Hoda Kotb was officially named the new Today co-anchor, the 53-year-old star confirmed to worried fans that she'll still appear alongside Kathie Lee Gifford on the show's fourth hour. But, just one day later, Kathie Lee, 64, seemed to slip away from Today, leaving Hoda with a slew of guests hosts during their usual timeslot. So, what happened? And where did KLG go?!
Long story short, Kathie Lee was on a pre-scheduled trip to Israel that was booked before Hoda's exciting co-anchor announcement. "Have just returned from another incredible [The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi experience] in Israel. Have been shooting videos to support our new book out March 6! Shabbat Shalom!" the star revealed via Twitter on Friday, Jan. 12. When a fan commented on Kathie Lee's Twitter status asking when she'd be returning to Today, she replied, "Soon!" We hope so!
Before she left Today earlier in January, Kathie Lee hinted at her departure while on-air with Hoda. "I'm not going to be with you much this month," she told her co-star at the time. A source close to Kathie Lee later exclusively told Closer Weekly that she's devoting a lot of 2018 to working on other projects. "They revolve around her Christian faith and her specific story," the source said, adding that Kathie Lee also spent the holidays in Florida "writing a new movie."
According to the insider, Kathie Lee originally planned to leave Today after 2017 to work on films but has decided to stay with the daytime gig because NBC agreed to accommodate her other projects. "You get to a point in your life where you run out of time to do what you want to do," Kathie Lee once said. Most importantly, KLG is thrilled her BFF Hoda has landed her dream job as a Today co-anchor. "She is having the greatest year of her life," she gushed. "If she's happy, I'm happy for her!"
After Savannah Guthrie announced Hoda as Matt Lauer's replacement on Tuesday, Jan. 2, Kathie Lee took to Twitter to congratulate her pal. "So happy for my dear friend @HodaKotb!! Congratulations on being named the new co-anchor of @TODAYshow!! Nobody does it better!!" she wrote. She later returned to the micro-blogging site to write, "We’re baaack! Congratulations to my friend @HodaKotb on the announcement of her taking over that prime seat next to @SavannahGuthrie in the mornings! The best team!" The show's longtime anchor, Matt, was apruptly fired on Wednesday, Nov. 29 following sexual harrassment allegations.