Kathie Lee Gifford leaving The Today Show in April; see announcement

TodayThis morning, there was some pretty-enormous news that broke within the Today Show world — Kathie Lee Gifford is departing when we get around to April. She’s been a part of the morning-talk series for more than a decade, but apparently she wants to move forward and try some other things.

In a lot of ways, Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb were pioneers for NBC in launching the fourth hour of the morning-show franchise, something that became fairly synonymous with booze, laughter, and people having a good time while also discussing lifestyle segments and interviews. This was almost a separate morning show within a greater infrastructure and the two found themselves a number of fans throughout their run.

In her announcement Tuesday morning, Kathie Lee mentioned that it was never even her intention to stay anywhere near as long as she did:

“I’ve been here almost 11 years. Thought I would stay one year, but something happened along the way: I fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess [in Hoda]. And now, when it’s our 11th anniversary, I’m going to be leaving The Today Show … It’s an exciting time for me, and I’m thrilled about all of the projects that are coming up. But it’s also hard, because the reason I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here so much.”

Following the announcement, NBC News head Noah Oppenheim released a memo to staff, which eventually surfaced over at Deadline:

When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda and Kathie Lee. Whether in studio or on one of their many road trips, they have delighted our audience with their distinct brand of fun, friendship and adventure. During that time, Kathie Lee has cemented her status as one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television. In short – she is a legend.

Given that Kathie Lee is staying on board the morning show for several more months, that should allow everyone over at NBC the opportunity to try and figure out precisely what they want to do moving forward. There are a number of different opportunities for what they could opt to do with the 10:00 a.m. hour, but we have a hard time thinking that they are going to want to change it all that much. Why would they, given that what they’ve been doing for the past several years is successful?

If you haven’t see Kathie Lee’s announcement just yet, be sure to watch it in the video below.

Related Check out some other recent Today Show announcements

What do you think about Kathie Lee departing The Today Show at the end of this season? Be sure to share some of your thoughts on that subject in the attached comments. (Photo: NBC.)

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