After weeks of “mystery” and “Who could it be?!”, the obvious was finally announced today. NBC told us who will replace Kathie Lee Gifford as Hoda Kotb’s morning time drinking buddy aka the co-host of the fourth hour of Today. Jenna Bush Hager is taking over for KLG. Kathie has decided to give up the world’s best gig to become a filmmaker, so I imagine she’ll have buyer’s remorse later this year and eventually pull a Jay Leno and return to snatch the morning drinking crown off Jenna’s head. But until then, we had to endure got to see a promo of sisterhood and learn all about why Jenna was picked as a worth heir to pickling one’s liver with Pinot Grigio.
People says Jenna will take over half the wine throne in April, which is good because Kathie Lee’s crazy is the only kind of March Madness I have time for this year. Jenna blabbed about how it seems like such a natural transition for her since it’s not like she was doing any hard-hitting journalism on the Today show anyway:
“I’m so excited, I can’t believe it. It feels organic and it feels right. It just feels like the right time for me.”
I mean, lest we forget the Bush twins fun college years when it was hard to pick up a paper without seeing one of them in jail or doing a keg stand. Of course this is the right fit! If anything, Hoda should sleep with one eye open lest Barbara Bush Jr. give up her non-profit work and try to stage a Jell-O-shooting comeback with her sis!
This announcement isn’t shocking since Jenna was basically the stand-in replacement host for Hoda and Kathie Lee when they traveled which is a lot and honestly makes me wonder why their names are still attached to the house. Jenna was hosting the damn thing more than they were.
Kathie basically implied Jenna was getting the job when she announced December she was quitting morning TV for a second time, and a snitch close to the show had blabbed Jenna was the “favorite” to take over. Plus, she’s been lurking around Studio 1A doing correspondent work since 2009. Hoda also seems to be happy to have the former First Daughter sitting next to her:
“Being around Jenna is like being around the most real person. She says exactly what she thinks and believes and there’s something about her that makes you do two things. You lean in because you want to know more and also you kind of weirdly tell her your secrets and you’re like ‘Oh my God, I just blurted all that out!’”
Speaking of blurting out, you can check out the full announcement of Jenna’s new job below – including Kathie Lee blurting out how she wears her mom’s, former First Lady Laura Bush, bras. And they say Republicans aren’t resourceful!
— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) February 26, 2019