It was a sad day for fans of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s segment on TODAY when KLG announced she’d be leaving the show to pursue her other endeavors back in December— but now, TODAY has officially revealed who will be replacing Kathie Lee on 4th Hour, and it’s none other than the beloved Jenna Bush Hager.
The news was revealed on the Tuesday, February 26 episode of TODAY. “It feels humbling and I can’t believe it,” Jenna said of the announcement.
Of course, Jenna’s father and former president of the United States, George W. Bush, was also thrilled by the news. “My dad just wrote me three words, which made me weep. He said, ‘Very proud dad,’” she shared. “Which I’m like, what is there to be proud about? I’m just drinking wine in the morning!”
While fans are excited about Jenna Bush Hager becoming a permanent member of TODAY’s 4th hour, it doesn’t come without sadness for Kathie’s departure.
“You have been such a role model and so generous with your time,” Jenna told Kathie Lee. “You are beloved here in so many ways and if I can use some of your grace and have half of what you’ve done, my life will be a very happy one.”
Kathie was equally as thrilled for Jenna, offering her some wise advice: “You keep trusting your instincts and you’re going to sit next to the best person in the whole world because she has your back, because she has your heart,” Kathie said, referring to Hoda. “It’s going to be fun. You guys are going to have a ball.”
— Kathie Lee and Hoda (@klgandhoda) February 26, 2019
Jenna will be taking on the new role starting in April.