Director's Alert: Kathie Lee Gifford Joins the Fourth Hour of "Today"
"I am excited to welcome Kathie Lee to 'Today,'" said Bell. "She is a morning television icon and is on a short list of personalities known by her first name alone. We are looking forward to her signature warmth and sense of humor in the fourth hour. Her addition to the 'Today' family makes us stronger than ever, and she and Hoda will continue the 'Today' tradition of smart, topical and fun morning television."
"I am truly honored to join the 'Today' show family, many of whom have been friends and colleagues of mine for years," said Gifford. "And I'm especially looking forward to working with Hoda, a bright and beautiful woman I admire very much. Together I hope we will bring a fresh and fun perspective to the topics that affect all of our daily lives."
Launched in September 2007, the fourth hour of "Today" has continued with the program's rich history of setting the agenda for what Americans will be talking about in the office, at the watercooler and with friends all day. The hour is topical and timely, incorporating the news of the day with what people are buzzing about in a spontaneous, informative and dynamic manner.
Ann Curry will continue her role as news anchor of the 7-9 a.m. hours of "Today," as well as co-host, with Al Roker, of the 9 a.m. hour. Natalie Morales will join Curry and Roker as a third co-host at 9 a.m. Morales will also continue to serve as national correspondent for "Today" and all platforms of NBC News.
Gifford is best known as the former co-host of "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee," where in her fifteen years on the show, she received eleven Emmy nominations. Prior to "Live," Gifford was a correspondent for "Good Morning America," a position she held for three years. Gifford was also the first woman ever to guest host the "Late Show with David Letterman."
A playwright, producer, singer, songwriter and actress, Gifford has starred in numerous television programs and movies over the span of her 40-year career. In 1999, she started her own record label, On the Lamb Records. Gifford expanded her theatre resume in recent years by writing the musicals "Saving Aimee," "Under the Bridge," and "HATS! The Musical." She has also starred in several productions including Broadway's "Putting it Together" and "Annie" at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden, in which she played Miss Hannigan.
Gifford devotes much of her time to humanitarian work, lending her support to several organizations that help abused, neglected, sick and poverty-stricken children. Among those charities are Childhelp, which Gifford serves as spokesperson, and the Association to Benefit Children (ABC), which spawned Cassidy's Place and Cody House in New York City, named after her two children.
Gifford received an honorary degree from Marymount University for her humanitarian work in labor relations, and she was honored with the National Conference of Christian and Jews Irvin Feld Humanitarian Award for her commitment to bettering the lives of others. Gifford also received the Childhelp's Heart's of Compassion Award for her efforts on behalf of children.