Jenna Bush Hager to be permanent co-host of TODAY fourth hour

Courtesy: NBC News

NEW YORK (NBC) - Jenna Bush Hager will join Hoda Kotb as the permanent co-host of TODAY's fourth hour later this year.

NBC made the announcement Tuesday morning. The news comes less than three months after Kathie Lee Gifford revealed she will step down as Hoda's partner for the fourth hour in April.

"It feels humbling and I can't believe it," Bush Hager said on the show Tuesday morning.

She shared with Hoda and Kathie Lee 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,'" Bush 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 Kathie Lee: "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."

Bush Hager joined the TODAY family in 2009 and has worn many hats since. She's interviewed big names from Joanna Gaines to former first lady Michelle Obama; introduced viewers to many inspirational people through her reporting; and moved viewers with her touching stories about her family, from her late Gampy and Ganny to her little girls, Mila and Poppy.

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