Kathie Lee Gifford Announces Departure From “Today”

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It’s the end of an era. Kathie Lee Gifford has announced that she’s leaving Today after 11 years serving as host of the fourth hour alongside Hoda Kotb. Kathie Lee Gifford shared the “bittersweet” news on December 11.

“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.”

NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim announced the news in his own statement, saying, “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.”

He went on to share a statement Kathie gave him about her departure.

“In 2008, I joined the TODAY Show family intending to spend one year. But something unexpected happened along the way: I fell in love with a beautiful, talented, extraordinary Egyptian goddess named Hoda, and an amazing group of individuals who work tirelessly and joyfully at their jobs, many of them starting at midnight, creating an unprecedented four hours of live television,” Kathie stated.

“I stayed year after year making a million memories with people I will never forget. I leave TODAY with a grateful heart but I’m truly excited for this new creative season in my life.  Many thanks to all the wonderful people who made the years fly by.”