‘The Today Show’ (or simply ‘Today’) is one of America’s most prominent and beloved daytime shows. The show’s fourth hour, titled ‘Today with Hoda & Jenna,’ has been headlined by hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager for the last few years. Since the fourth-hour program’s inception back in 2007, the host panel has undergone a variety of changes, but Hoda Kotb has remained an integral part of the show. However, a recent episode of the show gave rise to concerns over the co-host’s future. Is one half of ‘Today with Hoda & Jenna’ exiting the morning talk show? Here’s everything you need to know!
Is Hoda Leaving The Today Show?
Hoda Kotb started as a co-host alongside Ann Curry and Natalie Morales during the early days of the fourth hour in 2007. However, in April 2008, Kathie Lee Gifford joined as Hoda’s co-host replacing both the former two members of the panel. The fourth hour was then titled ‘Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda.’ With the two co-hosts, the show performed exceedingly well, with viewers taking a liking to the strong dynamic between them. Hoda, in particular, received praise for her charming and warm presence.
The iHoda Live segment, which features a live performance of one of Hoda’s favorite songs, has also become extremely popular. Since 2019, after Gifford’s departure from the series (announced in December 2018), Hoda has co-hosted the fourth hour of ‘Today’ alongside Jenna Bush Hager under the title ‘Today with Hoda & Jenna.’
However, after the episode that aired on August 23, 2021, fan speculation ran rampant that Hoda was set to exit from her long-standing role on the show. Tweets, posts, and articles with titles of Hoda sharing an emotional farewell began to dominate social media. This flurry of social media activity was enough for some people to deduce that Hoda is indeed leaving ‘The fourth hour of Today.’ Well, we can assure you that it is simply not the case, and Hoda hasn’t announced her departure from ‘Today.’
The long-serving host hasn’t publicly expressed a desire to step down, and there has been no such indication from the producers either. During the aforementioned episode, Hoda did share an emotional farewell message, and a key member of the show’s production team did indeed depart, but it wasn’t Hoda. It so happened that executive producer, Joanne LaMarca, said goodbye to the show as she decided to exit from her role to spend more time with her family. Hoda shared a farewell message for Joanne during the episode.
It’s a bittersweet day for us as we say farewell to our beloved executive producer Joanne LaMarca, who is leaving to spend more time with her family. We asked @TraceAdkins to help us send Joanne off with a surprise. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OJlmKtjLHc
— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) August 20, 2021
“Alright, so we’re a little bumming today. We’re going to be totally honest (it’s) because our beloved executive producer, Joanne LaMarca, is leaving us to spend time with her family, her husband Tyler, her son Mack. We love our Jo Jo,” she said. Country Singer and Actor Trace Adkins also made a surprise appearance and moved the studio to tears with a live performance that bookmarked Joanne’s departure.
So there you have it! The beloved co-anchor/host Hoda Kotb isn’t leaving ‘Today’ anytime soon. While Hoda and the show’s crew said goodbye to Joanne LaMarca, Hoda isn’t moving away. The entire scenario was a case generated by the misleading headlines, and Hoda’s future with the show was likely never in much doubt.
Read More: Is Savannah Guthrie Leaving Today?