The Today show has gone through a lot of staffing changes over the past year and more are expected to come after Kathie Lee Gifford announced she’ll be leaving the popular morning program this spring. But despite so much going on, star Jenna Bush Hager admitted in a new interview that “things are awesome” behind-the-scenes at NBC.
“Things are awesome. We have Libby [Leist] who’s our executive producer — the first woman executive producer ever,” Jenna, 37, told Page Six at a recent New York City event she attended with her Today costars Hoda Kotb and Sheinelle Jones. Hoda, 54, then added, “You sort of feel that we each have each other’s back and I think that’s important, so, emotional, but we’re there for each other.”
Nearly a year after Matt Lauer was fired from Today in November 2017 for sexual misconduct, Megyn Kelly was also asked to leave NBC after questioning why blackface Halloween costumes are “racist.” With so much going on behind-the-scenes, Hoda admitted things can get very emotional for the show’s cast.
“Sometimes, during commercial breaks, we share parts of our lives and literally moments before we go on air there’s a moment where we’re going, like, ‘Oh my God, that was the most beautiful thing in the world,’ and then you gotta, like, snap back into real life,” she shared. “But I think we are all kind of friends first and I think that makes it work.”
Hoda also joked that she’s managed to stay so optimistic on the daytime program by relying on “meds” to keep her happy. “[You’re wondering] what meds we’re on?” she laughed. “I think [seasonal depression] is a real thing and people really do get affected by that, but I don’t think it’s one of the things that affect us really.”
Although NBC has yet to officially announce who will replace Kathie Lee on Today following her exit in a few months, Jenna is keeping her fingers crossed that she’ll be considered for the job. “It would be great,” she recently told Entertainment Tonight. “So we’ll see. We’ll see.”