It’s never easy to say goodbye. As Kathie Lee Gifford is wrapping up her time as co-host of Today With Kathie Lee & Hoda, she took a moment to share an emotional gift with co-host Hoda Kotb.
“What do I get my Hoda for eleven years of the joy and honor of sitting next to you,” Kathie Lee said. “I know you love it when I give you paintings. This is by Sydney Clawson. She’s brilliant and I think you’re going to like this one.”
That’s when Kathie Lee revealed a painting of Hoda and her baby girl Hayley Joy. In the painting, Hoda is holding Hayley in her arms and looking down upon her daughter. “It says my joy is non-negotiable.”
The gift brought Hoda to tears immediately and the two friends embraced in a sweet moment. “I think we better go to commercial.” And they did.
Kathie Lee announced in December that she would be leaving the Today show in pursuit of other opportunities. Originally signed on for only one year of the show, Kathie Lee ended up staying eleven years because of the love she shared with Hoda and the crew.
“It’s an exciting time for me and I’m thrilled about the projects coming up, but it’s also hard because the reason I stayed longer than a year is become I love everybody here,” she said on Today. “I’ve never worked with a more beautiful group of people who just give, give, give every day.”
As Kathie Lee departs the show, Jenna Bush Hager, who was a special correspondent for the Today show, has been announced as Kathie Lee’s replacement beginning the second week of April.