Jenna Bush Hager joining Hoda Kotb as co-host of 4th hour of Today

Posted February 26, 2019 10:31 a.m. EST
Updated February 26, 2019 10:36 a.m. EST

— NBC announced Tuesday that Jenna Bush Hager will join Hoda Kotb as the permanent co-host of Today's fourth hour later this year.

According to NBC's statement, Hager will join the show in April when Kathie Lee Gifford departs.

"Jenna joined Today nearly ten years ago and she quickly became a fixture in our family," wrote NBC News President Noah Oppenheim.

"Her compassion and curiosity come through in all of her stories, along with her Texas-sized sense of humor. Jenna instantly connects with everyone she meets, whether they are guests on our show or fans on the Plaza."

Oppenheim added, "While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to Kathie Lee, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to make some changes at 10 a.m. "

Hager, the daughter of former President George w. Bush, shared with Today what her father told her after learning the news.

“My dad just wrote me three words, which made me weep. He said, ‘Very proud dad,’” Jenna said, her voice cracking, before she joked, “Which I’m like, what is there to be proud about? I’m just drinking wine in the morning!”

Today airs on WRAL-TV weekday mornings at 7 a.m.