Although it was announced that Kotb would stay on with Gifford as well as officially replace disgraced co-anchor Matt Lauer on the first two hours of Today, sources told Radar that Kotb wants out of her hosting duties with Gifford as soon as possible.
"Hoda is now too big for the fourth hour," one show insider explained. "She wants to focus all her attention on the first two hours."
According to the source, Kotb insisted it would be considered highly unorthodox for NBC to have asked her former co-host Matt Lauer or Kotb's new partner, Savannah Guthrie, to host the fourth hour, so why should she?
"It was beneath them and now it's beneath Hoda too," noted the source.
So how long will Kotb put up with pulling double duty with Gifford, 64, on Today?
"Hoda will keep on hosting with Kathie Lee for the next six months and slowly pull away," said the source.
Kotb, 53, has her reasons for agreeing to stick around longer than she sees fit.
"Hoda doesn't want it to look like she abandoned the hour that made her a star," said the show insider, adding, "Kathie Lee is livid but knew it was coming."
"The official reason will be that Hoda is too busy and has commitments after the first two hours updating the show for the West Coast and working on voiceovers and packages for the next day," added the source of the excuse Kotb will use to finally leave Gifford behind for good.
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