Kathie Lee Gifford Leaving 'Today' Show After 11 Years: 'It's Bittersweet'

Dec. 11 2018, Updated 1:50 p.m. ET

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Kathie Lee Gifford is leaving the Today show! Just days after RadarOnline.com exclusively reported she was on the chopping block at NBC, the TV star announced her departure.

"It's bittersweet as these things always are, but I have been here almost 11 years," said Gifford, 65, on the show on Tuesday morning. "Thought I would stay one year. Something happened along the way and fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess and when it's our 11th anniversary I will be leaving the Today show."

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The longtime host assured fans that great things are to come for her and her career.

"It's an exciting time for me and I'm thrilled about the projects coming up, but it's also hard is because the reason I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here," she added.

Gifford then joked about her veteran TV star status, saying she's been in the business for "120 years and never worked with a more beautiful group of people."

Of course, her news comes weeks after the firing of nemesis Megyn Kelly, who was forced to leave NBC after making a controversial racist comment.

Speaking of her love for Hoda Kotb, with whom she's hosted Kathie Lee & Hoda for 11 years, the star said: "We laugh and support one another and know each other's kids names and know when somebody is having a colonoscopy. We do life and nobody more so than my Hoda."

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"It's going to be the same as my Regis. I'm closer to him now than after 15 years together," Gifford added, speaking of her former ABC co-host Philbin. "You don't share that life together and not be changed forever by it. I love you, Hoda mama."

Before her bombshell reveal, an insider told Radar that NBC execs were looking for a younger host to replace Gifford.

"They want someone who can be a female counterpart to Craig Melvin, who isn't even 40 yet," said a source, adding that the network cared very little about Gifford, and didn't see her as a crucial member of the Today family.

What do you think of Kathie Lee Gifford's emotional departure from Today? Sound off below!

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