Kathie Lee Gifford leaving NBC's 'Today' show

Kathie Lee Gifford will leave NBC's "Today" show after co-hosting for more than a decade, according to NBC News President Noah Oppenheim in a memo to staff.

Oppenheim wrote that Gifford had a "dazzling run" on "Today" while referring to her as "a legend." The memo shared that she decided to focus attention on other endeavors, including "film, music and book projects."

Gifford, 65, began co-hosting the fourth hour of "Today" back in 2008.


"When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda [Kotb] & Kathie Lee," wrote Oppenheim. "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."

Oppenheim shared Gifford's sentiment in the memo, which focused particularly on her longtime co-host Kotb.

“In 2008, I joined the TODAY Show family intending to spend one year. But something unexpected happened along the way: I fell in love with a beautiful, talented, extraordinary Egyptian goddess named Hoda, and an amazing group of individuals who work tirelessly and joyfully at their jobs, many of them starting at midnight, creating an unprecedented four hours of live television," Gifford told Oppenheim. "I stayed year after year making a million memories with people I will never forget. I leave TODAY with a grateful heart but I’m truly excited for this new creative season in my life. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who made the years fly by.”

Gifford will stay with the show until its next anniversary on April 7, 2019.