It’s the end of an era.
NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim announced Tuesday that Kathie Lee Gifford will be departing the “Today” show in April, where she has hosted the final hour of the broadcast alongside Hoda Kotb since 2008.
Gifford shared the news on the broadcast Tuesday morning.
“Everything good that has happened in my life has happened because you came,” Kotb said to Gifford.
“Our show is about catching each other when you fall down, that’s it,” Kotb added. “Which is daily for us,” Lee said. “I cannot believe that we’re on TV and this is happening,” Kotb said.
“We started out as a nothingburger … we’re going to be friends for the rest of our lives. I’m grateful to God for you,” Lee said to Kotb. “I know somebody wonderful will be sitting in this seat afterwards.”
In a memo to staff, Oppenheim called the 65-year-old Gifford “one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television. In short — she is a legend.” He said she will focus on her film, music and book projects.
In the memo, Oppenheim said Gifford said she was leaving “with a grateful heart but I’m truly excited for this new creative season in my life.”
There has been no announcement on a replacement for Gifford.
The move comes as NBC News struggles to remake its sprawling four-hour morning show following the cancellation earlier this year of Megyn Kelly’s hour-long slot.
Before landing the NBC gig, Gifford co-hosted “Live” opposite Regis Philbin for 11 years. She left that show in 2000 and joined “Today” in 2008.
Away from TV, Gifford has supplied the book, lyrics and some of the music for the off-Broadway “Under the Bridge,” an adaptation of a children’s book about a hobo who befriends a homeless family in Paris.
She has released albums, including the poppy “The Heart of a Woman” in 2000 and the religious “Gentle Grace” in 2004. Gifford also has appeared onstage in the Broadway musical revue “Putting it Together” and supplied book and lyrics for the 2012 Broadway flop “Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson.”