TODAY SHOW CONTRIBUTOR - Jill Martin
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said in a memo to the staff that Gifford was leaving to focus on her feature film, music and book projects. In October, the network abruptly fired third-hour host Megyn Kelly after she made racially insensitive comments on her program. Colleagues have long been saying she is simply tired of the daily live TV grind and was looking to move on and spend more time on the West Coast.
But it does mean that NBC News now has to reconfigure the host chairs for both the 9 a. Bush Hager, the daughter of former President George W.
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Bush, is considered the leading candidate to join Kotb at 10 a. Gifford became a polarizing figure as she was accused of using sweatshop labor in the offshore factories that manufactured her clothing line. Kotb wept.
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From until , Gifford co-hosted "Live! In the television world, the hour is known for funny conversations, celebrity guests and free-flowing wine.
Gifford and Kotb are beloved by millions of viewers. And in the business world, it is known as a prime place to advertise. The morning-long "Today" show is a cash cow for NBC, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of ad revenue. So changes to the show's cast are always a big deal.