When Kathie Lee Gifford leaves the “Today” show in April, Jenna Bush Hager will be the new co-host of the fourth hour with Hoda Kotb.
In December 2018, Gifford, 65, announced that she would be moving on after 11 years with the “Today” show to pursue projects including producing Christian music and films.
Gifford’s final day will be on April 7, and 37-year-old Bush Hager is thrilled to take on the new role.
“I’m so excited, I can’t believe it,” Bush Hager told People. “It feels organic and it feels right. It just feels like the right time for me.”
Bush Hager is already a familiar and well-loved face on the show.
She joined “Today” in 2009 as a correspondent and has filled in for Gifford on numerous occasions.
“I’ve been the fill-in, which is a fun position to be because there’s no pressure but you could just have a blast,” Bush Hager said. “So, to take it to the next level is awe-inducing.”
— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) February 26, 2019
“Today” co-host Hoda Kotb, 54, told People that Bush Hager is “the perfect fit.”
“Being around Jenna is like being around the most real person,” Kotb said.
“She has this thing that’s special. I know that people try to have it but I think you’re born with it.
“And Jenna has it and it’s the thing that makes her laugh at herself when she spills coffee on herself. It’s the way that she makes other moms feel good enough because she explains how she’s had the worst day ever and puts it out there.”
It’s official: JBH will take over for the legend @KathieLGifford, joining @HodaKotb in April. There’s no replacing Kathie, but every day will be fun with Jenna. She’s simply incapable of not being real, funny, and all heart, at all times. @TODAYShow pic.twitter.com/rR90DB2s2k
— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) February 26, 2019
Bush Hager is ready to leave her current lifestyle of fast-paced travel and settle down with a focus on hew new job and her family.
“To get to be kind of grounded in one position feels like such an honor,” Bush Hager said. “To be around a little bit more feels like the right time for my family, too.”
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