Kathie Lee Gifford sang her cohost Hoda Kotb's praises as she announced she was leaving the Today show this morning after 11 years. However, an insider insists the former best friends have fallen out in recent months — leaving the 65-year-old TV vet with little reason to stay on the NBC morning show, RadarOnline.com can exclusively report.
After initially receiving major perks — including the opportunity to debut new music — Gifford found herself left out at her longtime gig, and left behind by her once closest confidante, the insider claimed.
"Everything has changed," the insider said, adding that the death of her husband Frank left Gifford needing Kotb more than ever.
"Kathie lost Frank and needed a best friend. But Hoda got the baby, boyfriend and top job and didn't have time for her anymore."
"Now she finds herself sitting alone in the basement with everyone else having fun hanging out in the dressing room on the first floor. Hoda has literally moved out on her. And moved upstairs."
After being practically inseparable for years, Gifford and Kotb no longer see each other outside of work.
"They stopped hanging out before and after the show," the insider said. "They stopped lunches and dinners and going to the theater."
A separate source claimed the friendship has dissolved into "more of a business relationship."
As Radar previously reported, Gifford announced her departure this morning on air.
A source told Radar just last month that producers were quietly looking for a replacement for Gifford after they believed she had grown a little "long in the tooth" for younger viewers.
"They want someone who can be a female counterpart to Craig Melvin, who isn't even 40 yet," the source said.
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