Kathie Lee Gifford Leaving Today Show After 11 Years

Kathie Lee Gifford is stepping away from Today after appearing on the popular morning show for over a decade.

Gifford announced her decision to leave the program on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Sitting beside her co-host Hoda Kotb, Gifford told Today show viewers, as reported by TMZ, "I have something to share with everybody, and it's bittersweet, as these things always are." Noting that she had only planned on working for Today for one year, she shared that "something happened along the way," pointing at Kotb and noting that she "fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess."

"And now," she continued, "when it's our 11th anniversary I'm gonna be leaving the Today show." Explaining that she's excited for "all the projects that are coming up," she revealed that it's still hard to leave because "the reason I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here so much."

"I've been in this business 120 years," Gifford, 65, joked, "and never worked with a more beautiful ... group of people who just give, give, give every day for four hours of live television ... We have fun, and we laugh, and we support one another. ... We do life together."

As noted by CNN Business, Gifford, who'd famously previously worked with Regis Philbin on ABC's Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, has hosted the 10 a.m. hour of the Today show with Kotb since 2008.

NBC News President Noah Oppenheim commented on Gifford departure in an internal memo on Dec. 11, according to CNN Business. Calling her a "legend," he wrote, in part, "As we all know, Kathie Lee's plate has been overflowing lately with film, music and book projects, and after giving us eleven extraordinary years, she's decided to focus her attention full-time on those other creative endeavors."

Deadline reports that Today correspondent Jenna Bush Hager is a good bet to be Gifford's replacement.