Get the latest news from TODAY & # 39; HUI
Subscribe to our newsletter
/ Source: TODAY & # 39; HUI
By Shane Lou
Jenna Bush Hager will join Hoda Kotb as a permanent co-host of the fourth hour today, later this year.
The announcement came less than three months after Kathie Lee Gifford announced that she would leave Hoda's partner position for the fourth hour in April.
"It's humiliating and I can not believe it," Jenna told the show Tuesday morning.
She shared with Hoda and Kathie Lee what her father, former President George W. Bush, told him after learning the news.
"My dad just wrote me in three words, which made me cry. He said, "Very proud daddy," Jenna said, her voice cracking, before joking. "What am I, what to be proud of? I only drink wine in the morning!
She then addressed kind words to Kathie Lee: "You have been such a model and you have been so generous with your time. … You are loved here in many ways and if I can use part of your grace and have half of what you did, my life will be very happy. "
Kathie Lee reciprocated by saying to Jenna, "You continue to trust your instincts and you will sit next to the best person in the world because she has your back, because she has your heart. It's gonna be fun. You are going to have a balloon.
Congratulations quickly poured in after the announcement:
Jenna joined the TODAY family in 2009 and has been wearing many hats since. She interviewed big names, from Joanna Gaines to former First Lady Michelle Obama; introduced us to many inspiring people through his reports; and touched us with his touching (and sometimes hilarious) stories about his family, from his late Gampy and Ganny to his little daughters, Mila and Poppy.
In an e-mail to staff, Noah Oppenheim, director of NBC News, wrote that "Jenna's compassion and curiosity are reflected in all her stories, as well as her sense of humor at the size of Texas. ". Oppenheim also noted that "even if it's bittersweet to say goodbye to Kathie Lee, we are delighted to have the opportunity to make changes at 10 am".
Kathie Lee informed viewers in December of her decision to retire today at the time of her eleventh birthday with the show. She said that while she was delighted to delve into all her future projects, "it's as difficult" to retire.
"I have been in this business for 120 years and have never worked with such a beautiful group of people who give, give, give every day," said Kathie Lee.
Stay tuned for more announcements regarding the fourth hour of the next few months!