Kathie Lee Gifford to Leave NBC’s ‘Today’ Show After 11 Years

Kathie Lee Gifford announced Tuesday that she will be leaving her role as Today show host. “I have something to share with everybody, and it’s bittersweet, as these things always are,” Gifford said. “But I’ve been here almost 11 years. I thought I would only stay one year, but something happened along the way. I fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess,” she added, touching the arm of longtime co-host Hoda Kotb. “And now, when it’s our 11th anniversary, I’m going to be leaving the Today show.”

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim weighed in on Gifford’s departure, writing in a Tuesday statement: “As we all know, Kathie Lee’s plate has been overflowing lately with film, music and book projects, and after giving us eleven extraordinary years, she’s decided to focus her attention full-time on those other creative endeavors.” Oppenheim added that Gifford will remain on the program until April 7, 2019, and that co-host Hoda Kotb will stay with the network. “When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda & Kathie Lee,” he added. “Whether in studio or on one of their many road trips, they have delighted our audience with their distinct brand of fun, friendship and adventure. During that time, Kathie Lee has cemented her status as one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television.  In short—she is a legend.”