Kathie Lee Leaves the TODAY Show

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On her 11th anniversary of co-hosting the fourth-hour segment of the TODAY Show with Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee announced her departure from the show stating, “It’s bittersweet, as these things always are…” The talk show host will officially leave the show in April of 2019. We’re having a hard time trying to understand “Ambush Makeovers” or “Everyone Has a Story” without Gifford’s energy and colorful input. Here’s a look back at the greatest morning duo, Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb.

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Why was Kathie Lee morning show gold?

Kathie Lee Gifford brought incredible ratings for NBC and the TODAY Show. What was her secret? The morning show host brought experience from her time hosting Regis and Kathie Lee combined with a magical mixture of honesty, authenticity, and hilarity. Her genuine nature allowed viewers to connect to her and enjoy her presence, even if not all agreed with what she said.

TODAY Show

How 1 year became 11

Kathie Lee admitted she thought her stint on the popular morning show would only last a year, but she was so charmed and loved working with her co-host that 1 year quickly turned into 11. Referring to Kotb, Kathie Lee said, “Something happened along the way — fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess.” Watching this duo’s authentic and loving friendship grow over the year has been a true pleasure for viewers.

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Through the good times and the bad

In 2015, Kotb joyfully let viewers known that she had been in a relationship with New York financier Joel Schiffman for two years. That same year Kathie Lee’s husband, Frank Gifford, died on August 9 from natural causes at their home in Connecticut, just one week short of his 85th birthday.  And in happier news, in 2017 Kotb announced on the TODAY Show that she had adopted a baby girl named Haley Joy Kotb. Certainly, Hoda and Kathie Lee have endured a lot of life’s pain and happiness together.

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Who will replace Kathie Lee?

Since the announcement of Gifford’s departure, speculation has run wild with viewers trying to pick the perfect co-host to join Kotb. Kathie Lee said, “I know somebody wonderful will be sitting in this seat afterwards. I have my idea of who might be absolutely wonderful, but there’s a great pool of talent and beauty and heart around here, right within our own family.” Our guess? Jenna Bush Hager or Maria Shriver? Or perhaps Hoda’s gal pal and TODAY show veteran, Meredith Vieira?

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The duo stole our hearts with their excessive wine drinking and laughter, in fact, watching Hoda and Kathie Lee was just like hanging out with your best girl at home. The recent firing of Megan Kelly combined with the exit of Kathie Lee, leaves the TODAY Show with the 9 and 10 am time slots to play with. We are sad to see this great duo separate, but excited for what’s next for our daily dose of morning programming too. 

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