This coming Friday will be the 11 year anniversary of the fourth hour of the Today Show. It will be a bittersweet day for the Today team, as they will be losing longtime co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, as she prepares to move on to the next chapter of her life. Gifford starred alongside Hoda Kotb for the wine-and-laugh-filled fourth hour since 2007. As she departs from daytime television, Gifford will be replaced by Jenna Bush Hager. She revealed she had a few words of advice for her replacement, according to TV Insider.
Hager has served as a correspondent for the Today Show for years, often sitting in for Gifford while she was away on assignment or taking a vacation. The palpable energy and connection between the two was noticeable. Upon Gifford’s announcement that she would be retiring from the Today Show on April 5, many fans began speculating who her replacement would be. Hager was a popular choice since she was already familiar with the rest of the team and had gained the trust of the audience. In addition, she and Kotb both have young children, something they can relate to one another about. Ultimately, Hager was given the position and gladly accepted.
While Hager already has her own fans and has been welcomed in by the Today Show team, she certainly has big shoes to fill. There will never be another Kathie Lee and Hoda, a dynamic that fans have known for so long. Nevertheless, Hager brings a youthful energy to the table that fans will be sure to enjoy.
Gifford was pleased when Hager was chosen to take her place and revealed that she has already given her some advice. She encouraged Bush Hager to limit the time she spends on air discussing her two young daughters, 5-year-old Mila and 3-year-old Poppy Hager.
“I used to get creamed for talking about my kids on Live!, but my job was to talk about my life, and I wasn’t doing anything except getting barfed on and losing sleep every night. We were hugely successful because when I talked about my kids, Regis was there to stick his finger down his throat. If Jenna and Hoda are both talking about how adorable their kids are, it’s not going to make great TV. They should take turns and save those conversations for when something so freakin’ funny happens that everyone without children will be delighted.”