Jenna Bush Hager Named Co-Host of Fourth Hour of 'Today'
She replaces Kathie Lee Gifford, who will step down this spring.
Jenna Bush Hager will join Hoda Kotb as the co-host of the fourth hour of NBC's Today. The official announcement came Tuesday from NBC News president Noah Oppenheim. It was also announced at the top of the 10 a.m. hour of the show.
Bush Hager replaces Kathie Lee Gifford, who previously announced that she will exit in April. Bush Hager is a familiar face to viewers of the frothy fourth hour of the NBC News franchise, having often filled in for Gifford and Kotb. An NBC News correspondent and daughter of former President George W. Bush, she has also appeared across the other hours of the show. ush Hager recently wrote a book, Sister's First, with her twin, Barbara Pierce Bush. She has been an NBC News correspondent since 2009.
The announcement was not unexpected and comes as the flagship 7-9 a.m. Today franchise — co-hosted by Kotb and Savannah Guthrie — continues to lead ABC's Good Morning America in the critical 25-54 demographic important to advertisers. It also comes several weeks after NBC News executives announced Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer, Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones as the permanent host team of the 9 a.m. third hour of Today, which was previously occupied by Megyn Kelly Today. Kelly officially left NBC News in December after a protracted exit.
Read Oppenheim's full memo below.
We have some exciting news to share with you this morning. Jenna Bush Hager will be joining Hoda Kotb as a co-host of the fourth hour of TODAY. Jenna will officially start her new role in April after we bid a fond farewell to Kathie Lee Gifford. We will be announcing Jenna’s new role at the top of the 10 a.m. hour this morning.
Jenna joined TODAY nearly ten years ago and she quickly became a fixture in our family. Her compassion and curiosity come through in all of her stories, along with her Texas-sized sense of humor. Jenna instantly connects with everyone she meets, whether they are guests on our show or fans on the Plaza.
While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to Kathie Lee, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to make some changes at 10 a.m. This is just the first of many! The show is evolving, and we will have additional announcements to share with you in the coming months. In the meantime, please join me in wishing Jenna a big congratulations!