It may have taken some time, but Today has finally found a replacement for Kathie Lee Gifford, who is set to depart the program in April. And who is the person who will be bantering with good old Hoda Kotb? Jenna Bush Hager.
That’s right, folks, the exciting announcement was made on the NBC show on Tuesday, February, 26, and it ends a long search to find the right person to not only replace the TV icon, 65, but to find someone that Hoda, 54, would feel great and comfortable beside. “It feels humbling and I can’t believe it,” Jenna, 37, said after the big news was revealed.
George W. Bush‘s daughter also revealed what her father told her after he learned of the fantastic news. “My dad just wrote me three words, which made me weep,” she shared. “He said, ‘Very proud dad.’ Which I’m like, what is there to be proud about? I’m just drinking wine in the morning!” she joked. Jenna wasn’t done sharing messages and kind words, as she then spoke to Kathie Lee.
“You have been such a role model and so generous with your time … You are beloved here in so many ways and if I can use some of your grace and have a half of what you’ve done, my life will be a very happy one.”
An earlier report did reveal that the network had decided to hire from within to replace the covenant vacant seat. And while many names were thrown around, including Carson Daly, Willie Geist, Craig Melvin and even Al Roker, ultimately it was Jenna who survived the Hunger Games — at least we’re assuming that’s how tough the competition got. Although the TRL alum, 45, shared some lovely words about Jenna as well.
— Carson Daly (@CarsonDaly) February 26, 2019
“We shoot, we score!! Congrats JBH!” Carson said, adding, “So well deserved! Love you and your family so much. You & Hoda are gonna be so fun to watch!” Kathie Lee recently revealed that her final date on Today will be April 5, in a program we are sure will be filled with a lot of tears. Until then, we want to say congratulations to Jenna!