It seems Kathie Lee Gifford‘s exit from Today could result in a big promotion for her NBC co-star Jenna Bush Hager! According to a new report, Jenna, 37, will likely replace Kathie Lee, 65, when she leaves the hit morning show after 11 years next April. “Jenna’s my hot bet to join Hoda [Kotb],” a network source told Page Six. An NBC spokesperson declined to comment on the outlet’s report at this time.
Since joining Today back in August 2009, Jenna has served as a frequent correspondent and contributor for NBC and often fills in for missing co-hosts on the program, including Hoda, 54, and Kathie Lee during the show’s popular fourth hour.
When Kathie Lee announced her upcoming Today departure on-air on Tuesday, Dec. 11, the TV star hinted at who she may want to replace her. “I know somebody wonderful will be sitting in this seat afterwards. I have my idea who might be absolutely wonderful. But there’s a great pool of talent and beauty and heart right around here. And if they come from outside the family, they will soon become family because we treat everyone that way,” she said.
Later on Tuesday, sources exclusively told Closer Weekly that Kathie Lee is “just over” working for Today and realized it’s “finally time to move on” to new projects. “When Kathie Lee Gifford first signed with Today she had a lot of perks. Now a lot of the perks she had have gone and she’s just over working at Today,” an insider explained. “Now she finds herself sitting alone in the basement with everyone else having fun hanging out in the dressing rooms on the first floor. Hoda has literally moved out on her. And moved upstairs.”
“Kathie Lee wanted out, it was becoming clearer that it was finally time to move on. She really prayed about it. She loved most of the people she worked with, Hoda, and her crew especially, but she wasn’t happy with the upper brass, decisions that they were making, and the changes she knew were on the horizon,” another source told us.
Join our Facebook group for the latest news and updates on the Today show!