Kathie Lee Gifford's "dazzling run" at the Today Show is coming to a close, per NBC News President Noah Oppenheim. Deadline reports he on Tuesday announced in a memo to staff that she's made the decision to no longer co-host the 10am hour of the program with Hoda Kotb as of her 11th anniversary of doing so, which is on April 7. His explanation: "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." Oppenheim quotes Gifford as crediting Kotb for keeping her on much longer than her intended one year when she joined in 2008:
- "Something unexpected happened along the way: I fell in love with a beautiful, talented, extraordinary Egyptian goddess named Hoda, and an amazing group of individuals who work tirelessly and joyfully at their jobs, many of them starting at midnight, creating an unprecedented four hours of live television. I stayed year after year making a million memories with people I will never forget. I leave Today with a grateful heart."
Oppenheim noted that Kotb will remain. No word yet on who will take the second chair in an hour that Brian Stelter for CNN
writes has become "known for funny conversations, celebrity guests, and free-flowing wine." Oppenheim referenced the wine, too: "When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda & Kathie Lee." (Read more Kathie Lee Gifford