Today Show host Kathie Lee Gifford shocked fans earlier this week when she announced that she would be leaving NBC’s morning news show after 11 years. But, an insider says that network executives have been plotting her exit for quite a while now.
According to Radar Online, NBC bigwigs were getting tired of the 65-year-old hosting Today’s fourth hour and were anxious to replace her with someone younger. So, they have been quietly looking for a replacement.
“They want someone who can be a female counterpart to Craig Melvin, who isn’t even 40 yet,” revealed the insider.
Gifford told fans on Tuesday morning that saying goodbye to her Today family felt bittersweet, but she has exciting new projects in the works. She added that her original plan was to be on the show for just one year when the network hired her. But, that one year turned into eleven.
She also gushed about her co-host Hoda Kotb, telling fans that she would miss working with her friend. But sources say that the two women have not been close for a long time because Kotb is too busy for her former bestie.
The insiders added that NBC made it clear they didn’t care about Gifford, so she is doing the same. She always takes time off when something comes up with her kids, and she also left for weeks to film a movie in Scotland.
Jenna Bush Hager Is the Frontrunner to Replace Kathie Lee Gifford on Today Show, Source Says https://t.co/5BuFTySHP3
— People (@people) December 11, 2018
Gifford’s departure comes just weeks after NBC fired Megyn Kelly from the third hour of Today, and a year after Matt Lauer’s exit due to sexual misconduct allegations.
Gifford and Kotb made the fourth hour of Today popular because they discuss news and pop culture while enjoying a glass of wine. But, there was one person out there that wasn’t a fan – Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo.
Just hours before Gifford announced her departure, Pompeo called out the hosts for drinking too much and not paying attention to what they were talking about.
“Hey here’s a suggestion!! Maybe all of you over there lay off the booze and pay attention to the real conversation that took place?” the 49-year-old actress tweeted on Monday.
The tweet was in response to a story shared by Gifford and Kotb’s official Twitter account about Pompeo’s appearance on Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch talk show. During her appearance, Pompeo talked about raising her three biracial children with husband, Chris Ivery. But, the Today story focused on Pompeo’s remarks about her former Grey’s Anatomy co-star, Patrick Dempsey. Pompeo made headlines when she revealed that she had not spoken to her former on-screen love since McDreamy was killed off the show.
In a second tweet, Pompeo wrote that whoever is in charge of Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford’s Twitter account, they need to represent the women in a more dignified way.