Kathy Lee is leaving Hoda to drink by herself. Was she fired by NBC?
During the broadcast today (12/11/18), Kathie Lee Gifford shares bittersweet news that she’ll be leaving TODAY after 11 years hosting the fourth hour with Hoda Kotb. “How does one person step in your life and change it like that? You did that for me,” Hoda tells Kathie Lee.
The 65-year-old TV host, who’s been on the program for more than 10 years, announced on the fourth hour of Today that she would be leaving the NBC morning show on April 7, 2019, the 11th anniversary of her being on Today.
Rumors have been swirling that Kathy Lee wanted out, to focus on other projects, and NBC wanted to refresh for a younger audience by recasting her role. The ratings for NBC’s TODAY show have been on the up swing after the firing of Megyn Kelly, for her controversial comments about wearing blackface on Halloween. Now that Megyn’s gone, it looks like the morning show is ready to make more adjustments. with producers wanting to capitalize on the new viewership.
After Gifford broke the news to viewers, Noah Oppenheim, the president of NBC News, released a statement.
“As we all know, Kathie Lee’s plate has been overflowing lately with film, music and book projects, and after giving us eleven extraordinary years, she’s decided to focus her attention full-time on those other creative endeavors. Kathie Lee is generously staying with us through the show’s next anniversary, April 7, 2019,” Oppenheim’s statement continued.
“We will have much more to share before then about our plans for that hour, which will, of course, continue to include Hoda.”