Many people are very, very sad that Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving the Today Show, including her Today Show family.
Earlier today, Gifford announced that she would be leaving the popular third hour of The Today Show this coming April on what would be her 11th anniversary on the show. People shares that a lot of of Kathie Lee’s co-workers took the news really hard and were nearly inconsolable. According to a source, Gifford would always sign one year contracts and then say she was leaving only to stay at the show longer; nobody thought that she would actually leave the show but she was expected to have left last year.
However, after Matt Lauer left, Today Show execs begged Gifford to stay, even giving her a big contract and allowing her to take large amounts of time off to do other projects. But now that she is actually leaving for good, everyone is really upset.
“People are so sad she is leaving. People were sobbing. People are so happy for her and she will of course stick around. She’ll be back here and there for sure. Everybody really loves working with her, so it’s sad for her to go. People are going to genuinely miss her. They know how excited she is about her movies and music, but selfishly people love her. She’s a legend.”
And now that the mother of two will officially be out at NBC come April, the source shares that she will be spending a lot more time in Nashville where she produces religious movies and music. The talk show host also has a home in Los Angeles, where both of her children reside, and will be spending some time there as well.
As the Inquisitr shared earlier today, Gifford shocked fans by announcing that she would be leaving the show in just a few short months. Gifford fought through tears as she called her announcement “bittersweet.” The 65-year-old said that she would really miss the staff who had become like family as well as her beloved co-star, Hoda Kotb.
Hoda was just as emotional as Gifford was during the announcement, choking back tears as she thanked Kathie Lee for basically giving her her whole entire life. Kotb said that because Kathie Lee chose her to star alongside her, both her personal and professional life were changed for the better.
“I was even thinking about everything. I met Joel because I had to make a speech. Why did I have to make a speech? Because I worked here and because I worked with you,” Kotb told viewers. “I wouldn’t have been there that day I met him. Haley came as a result of our union, me and Joel. Everything happened.”
There has been no announcement yet as to who exactly will be replacing Gifford come April but Kathie Lee says she does have a good idea of who she would like to replace her, though she didn’t name names. Rumors are swirling that Jenna Bush Hager is the clear frontrunner to fill Kathie Lee’s shoes, but fans will have to wait and see.
The Today Show airs weekday mornings on NBC.