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December 12, 2018

Jenna Bush Hager to most likely replace Kathie Lee Gifford on 'Today' after resignation

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On Tuesday, during the “Today” show’s fourth-hour Kathie Lee Gifford surprised viewers when she announced that she would be leaving the NBC program. Her departure is set to be on April 7, 2019.

Now there’s been speculation that former President George W. Bush’s daughter will take over the host’s 11-year career.

In just a few hours after Kathie Lee Gifford, 65, announced that she would be leaving the “Today” show, her most likely successor was named. A source revealed that the NBC executives were “strongly considering" contributor and correspondent Jenna Bush Hager, 37.

The insider shared:

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“The likelihood of it going to her is high. She’s very well liked here [at the show and network].”

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For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. If she does get the position, she would be taking over Gifford’s fourth-hour post after she leaves the program on the 11-year anniversary of her start on the show.

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On Tuesday, Gifford gave an announcement about her planned departure. She even expressed her gratitude to the show's crew and her co-host, Hoda Kotb.

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The show’s host said:

"I have something to share with everybody and it's bittersweet, as these things always are, but I've been here almost 11 years. Thought I would stay one year. Something happened along the way. Fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess and now, when it's our 11th anniversary, I'm going to be leaving the Today show.”

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Gifford continued:

“It's an exciting time for me and I'm thrilled about all the projects that are coming up, but it's also hard because the reason that I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here so much."

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Later on, she explained that she was leaving so she would be able to pursue several creative projects including filming a short in Israel. The television host also hinted that she “sorta” had a project with Dolly Parton and Roma Downey as well.

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Hager has appeared more often on the daytime show. At times she would be covering for Carson Daly on “Today's” Orange Room or filling in for Gifford or Kotb in the fourth-hour.

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Gifford and Kotb had an emotional farewell on the show. Through tears, Kotb said to her co-anchor:

"The minute you stepped into my life with both feet, everything changed.”

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