Kathie Lee Gifford is back in the ayem TV biz, though her wakeup call isn’t quite as early as it was in the “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” days.
Gifford has signed on as co-host of the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today,” an extension of the peacock’s mega-bucks morning franchise launched in September. As of April 7, Gifford will co-host alongside Hoda Kotb, who has been anchoring the fourth hour with “Today” vet Ann Curry.
Curry will continue to serve as news anchor for the mothership 7-9 a.m. broadcast, and as co-anchor with Al Roker and Natalie Morales of the 9 a.m. “Today” hour.
Gifford co-hosted the syndie hit “Regis and Kathie Lee” from its inception on Gotham’s WABC-TV in 1989 through 2000. Since then, she’s done Rialto turns in musicals “Putting it Together” and “Annie,” and she penned two three musicals of her own that have had regional productions: “Saving Aimee,” “Under the Bridge” and “Hats! The Musical.”
In confirming the long-rumored hire, “Today” exec producer Jim Bell called Gifford “a morning television icon and (someone who) is on a short list of personalities known by her first name alone.”