Kathie Lee Gifford announced on December 11 that she was leaving NBC’s Today after co-hosting the show’s fourth hour for 11 years with Hoda Kotb. Since then, there have been many rumors as to who will be her permanent replacement starting in mid-April.
NBC meteorologist Dylan Dreyer, Today‘s weekend co-anchor Sheinelle Jones, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards, Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel, and actor Jerry O’Connell are just some of the names that various media outlets have suggested would be great as co-hosts of the show with Kotb.
The main frontrunner, though, is Jenna Bush Hager. The 37-year-old has been working for the morning program since 2009, serving as a contributing correspondent and fill-in host when needed.
Entertainment Tonight talked to Bush Hager on Friday, January 25, to find out her thoughts on the gossip.
“It would be great,” she told the celebrity news program while at the Hudson River Park Friends Playground Committee’s Fourth Annual Luncheon in New York City.
“I feel like I have the best job. I get to sit next to these incredible humans, I get to travel the world and meet incredible people who are doing extraordinary things, and so we’ll see.”
Bush Hager has been sitting beside Kotb for the last few weeks while Gifford has been away, and Today viewers can clearly see the chemistry that the two have together.
“She’s been awesome, and extraordinary, and she fits. We’re like one big family and I think we all feel that,” said Kotb, who was also at the event.
One of the things that the two women have in common is that they are both mothers to young daughters. While Kotb is raising 23-month-old adopted daughter Haley, Bush Hager has two girls — 5-year-old Mila and 3-year-old Poppy — with her husband of 10 years, Henry Chase Hager.
In December, an insider told Entertainment Tonight that it was highly likely that Bush Hager would supersede Gifford on the show’s fourth hour, saying that she is “very well liked” at Today.
However, earlier in the week, Radar Online‘s source said that the morning program thinks “they can do better” than Bush Hager.
“Basically, Jenna will get the job if they can’t find anyone better,” said the website’s informant.
Furthermore, an insider told In Touch in December that “the show is looking for more diversity,” which would likely make Bush Hager, an American Caucasian, ineligible.
NBC has not revealed a date as to when they will officially announce Kotb’s new co-host.