According to a new report by Radar Online, Hoda Kotb allegedly wants out of hosting the fourth hour of Today, exiting the morning chatfest alongside soon-to-be-ex co-host Kathie Lee Gifford.
Sources allegedly told Radar that Kotb is “secretly steamed” she has to sit with her exiting co-host until Gifford officially leaves the series in April. She reportedly wants a clean break from the fourth hour of Today, focusing solely on hosting the morning news series alongside Savannah Guthrie.
“Hoda is over buddying up with Kathie Lee, as well as the whole format of the show,” said a source close to the series, who noted that a few days after Gifford’s announcement, Kotb went to the honchos and complained about her concerns moving forward.
“It’s caused a huge panic at NBC, as they can’t lose all of their most famous faces in just a few months,” said the source to Radar. “At the very least, Hoda wants to give up the fourth hour of Today, and they’re scrambling to find a way to make her stay.”
Both Kotb and Gifford, 65, began co-hosting the fourth hour of Today together in April 2008.
Radar alleges the two began to drift apart after Kotb started dating businessman Joel Schiffman and adopted a daughter, Haley Joy.
Kotb was officially named co-host of the first two hours of Today after Matt Lauer was unceremoniously fired after sex allegations against the longtime anchor surfaced.
According to sources, Kotb has stopped socializing with Gifford during off-hours from the show.
“Hoda’s known it for a long, long time,” Gifford said during her on-camera announcement regarding her imminent departure from the series.
“All these other projects have been bubbling up…and it’s so exciting. Movies and music and so many wonderful things. And I need the time to do them properly.”
“I went to our bosses here, actually almost two years ago and said, ‘I’m going to do one more year with Hoda. I’ll go out. I’ll retire with 10, a nice round number, 10 years with my sun goddess from Egypt.’ And so that was the arrangement until we had some turmoil here in our midst,” Gifford continued, referencing Matt Lauer’s firing in 2017.
“Noah Oppenheim came to me and basically said, ‘Kathie, can you just stay? Stay for a little longer?'” Gifford continued. “I don’t want to leave, I just have to do my other stuff. So I said, ‘If you guys can work it out for me so I can still do my projects, and I’ll stay.’ And I was thrilled with that decision. But now there’s like, six other projects.”
Gifford’s replacement has not yet been announced, but the host made it clear that Kotb will have a say in whoever is the next person to sit at the desk during Today’s fourth hour.
“Whoever it is, it’s going to be the most blessed person on Earth,” Gifford told Entertainment Tonight about her replacement. “We don’t know if it’s going to be a woman or a man or anything in between. We don’t know! We’re not judging, whoever Hoda wants, Hoda gets!”