Hoda Kotb is pulling double duty co-anchoring the first segment of Today with Savannah Guthrie and then co-hosting with Kathie Lee Gifford for the third hour. She’s proving to handle it all great, but it may not be a long-term arrangement. A new report suggests Gifford will soon have someone else in the seat next to her on the morning program on a permanent basis.
Hoda will join the rest of the crew in South Korea to cover the Winter Olympics while Gifford will remain in New York with Megyn Kelly. Jenna Bush will fill in for Kotb while she’s overseas, and it sounds like she might be on a great deal longer if the latest report is true.
Radar Online reports that a “network source” informed them that Hoda Kotb will be replaced by Bush after the Olympics are over.
“Jenna will be announced as Hoda’s permanent replacement in the hour with Kathie Lee after the Olympics,” the source says.
The insider claims Kathie Lee, 64, isn’t happy about having Jenna on the show because she wants her longtime former colleague, Regis Philbin, to take over Hoda’s spot on Today. The reason? According to the report, it’s an age thing. Internally, the third hour of Today is being dubbed the “mother and daughter hour” and Gifford isn’t amused. She’s said to be “on the outs” with the higher-ups who made the decision.
Apparently there are power struggles at play, according to the network insider. Jenna is supposedly “best friends” with Savannah, who has allegedly “pushed out everyone that was once loyal to Matt Lauer and replaced them with producers who are loyal to her.” The source continued that Kathie Lee “has no power.”
The source explains that if Jenna gets the gig, NBC “better start looking to someone to replace Kathy Lee because she will be out!”
Gifford wants Philbin as co-host over Bush. https://t.co/wNTGYhXpsZ
— Radar Online (@radar_online) January 26, 2018
As People reports, Kathie Lee and Regis were spotted at Craig’s in West Hollywood on Wednesday. This immediately sparked speculations that Regis is a contender for Kotb’s spot. It’d be a reunion for the two if it were to actually occur. The two hosted Live! from 1988 to 2000 and were a hit combo for morning talk shows. Kathie Lee reunited with Regis last March when the 86-year-old was filling in for Hoda while she was on maternity leave.
TMZ caught up with Kathie Lee in New York last week and pressed her about the rumor going around that Kris Jenner was campaigning to replace Hoda. She denied the rumors, telling the celebrity news outlet that Hoda has a multi-year contract to finish out and that no one is replacing her on the third hour of Today.
NBC hasn’t commented about the rumors that Hoda Kotb will be replaced on Today‘s third hour.