Former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager is reportedly NBC’s top pick to replace outgoing Kathie Lee Gifford on the fourth hour of ‘Today.’ We’ve got details on how she could be next in line to sip wine on the morning show.
Viewers of the 10am hour of the Today show were left shocked and heartbroken when Kathie Lee Gifford announced during the Dec. 11 telecast that she would be stepping down from the venerable morning program on April 7, 2019, her 11 year anniversary with the program. But one upside is that a familiar face for the 4th hour of Today is at the top of the running to replace Hoda Kotb‘s 65-year-old sidekick. Multiple outlets including Page Six and PEOPLE report that frequent show substitute host Jenna Bush Hager is the most likely candidate to replace Kathie Lee. She’s been with the show since 2009 and would make for such a natural fit.
“There’s still the fourth hour, but nothing has been determined about her replacement. She’s here until April anyway. But it’s looking like Jenna,” a source tells PEOPLE. The insider continues, “She’s in the mix because she is a favorite among viewers and staffers and she has already filled in for Kathie Lee every time she’s been away.” Jenna most recently took Kathie Lee’s seat over the summer when the longtime host was away in Scotland filming a movie she wrote called Love Me To Death. An NBC source told Page Six that thanks to Jenna’s great chemistry with Hoda that “Jenna’s my hot bet to join” her.
37-year-old Jenna reacted to the news of Kathie Lee’s April departure by tweeting “We adore you KLG. Thanks for your love, friendship and for your hilarity. You will be dearly missed.” No matter who gets the gig, Hoda isn’t going anywhere. PEOPLE‘s source says “Hoda will stay on. People would freak out if she left the fourth hour, too.” The 54-year-old pulls double duties, hosting the 7-9am flagship Today broadcast with Savannah Guthrie as well as the wine drenched fun 10am hour.
“I know somebody wonderful will be sitting in this seat afterwards,” an emotional Kathie Lee told the audience on Tuesday. “I have my idea who might be absolutely wonderful. But there’s a great pool of talent and beauty and heart right around here. And if they come from outside the family, they will soon become family because we treat everyone that way.”
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