It's official. Jenna Bush Hager is replacing Kathie Lee Gifford on the final hour of the "Today" show, it was announced on air Tuesday.
NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim announced in December that Gifford would be departing the "Today" show in April. Gifford has hosted the final hour of the broadcast alongside Hoda Kotb since 2008.
“It feels humbling and I can’t believe it,” Hager said on the show Tuesday morning.
She shared with Kotb and Gifford what her father, former President George W. Bush, told her after learning the news.
“My dad just wrote me three words, which made me weep. He said, ‘Very proud dad,’” Hager 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!”
She then offered kind words to Gifford: “You have been such a role model and so generous with your time. ... You are beloved here in so many ways and if I can use some of your grace and have a half of what you’ve done, my life will be a very happy one.”
In an email to staffers, Oppenheim wrote that Jenna's "compassion and curiosity come through in all of her stories, along with her Texas-sized sense of humor." Oppenheim also noted that "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."