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'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Farewell Party Despite Behind-The-Scenes Tension

'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR (3)

Mar. 27 2019, Published 12:55 p.m. ET

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Kathie Lee Gifford is saying goodbye to NBC after 10 years with the network. This Tuesday, March 26, Dylan Dreyer, Savannah Guthrie, Carson Daly, Hoda Kotb and Lester Holt reunited at The Times Square Edition in New York to toast Gifford's departure.

Kotb, 54, wore a white jumpsuit that matched Gifford's while Dreyer, 37, and Guthrie, 47, opted for trendy black looks and Daly, 45, and Holt, 60, went for navy blue. They posed for photos at the farewell party named "A Toast to Kathie Lee."

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RadarOnline.com readers know Gifford, 65, has been co-anchoring the Today show's fourth hour with Kotb for the past 10 years. The veteran TV host announced her departure after the cancellation of Megyn Kelly Today in late October.

"It's bittersweet as these things always are, but I have been here almost 11 years," said Gifford during a December 2018 show. "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."

While she's put up a brave face since her resignation, sources told Radar she's secretly furious her longtime friend Megyn Kelly and Matt Lauer got fired by the network.

"She was friends with Megyn and was very upset when she got the boot — and she let everyone know it!" said a source, adding that Gifford told a pal she though Kelly was treated "very badly" by NBC and "didn't like the way Matt Lauer's firing was handled, either."

"'I began to feel like that wasn't the place for me anymore, either!'" Gifford reportedly said.

The longtime co-anchor allegedly believed the show became too "politically-correct" and she no longer had an outlet to express her views.

Another insider told Radar, however, that Gifford was actually pushed out by network execs who were eager to find a younger replacement.

"They want someone who can be a female counterpart to Craig Melvin, who isn't even 40 yet," the insider added.

New Star

'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

Now, the network has chosen Guthrie's longtime friend, Jenna Bush Hager, as the new Today star — and Kotb isn't happy. While Kotb has no issues with Bush, the veteran host would have still liked to be consulted.

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Not Ok

Photos: 'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

"Hoda likes her but it would have been nice to have been asked to make the final decision," a source told Radar exclusively, adding that Guthrie is closer to Hager than she is to Kotb, and ultimately knew she could get her the job.

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Sad Goodbye

Photos: 'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

As for Gifford's departure, Kotb has cried many on-air tears.

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Longtime Friends

Photos: 'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

Speaking of her love for Kotb in her departure speech, Gifford 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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Faking Smiles?

Photos: 'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

A source close to the stars, however, claimed the friendship between the co-anchors dissolved over the years and became more of a business relationship — especially after Kotb's promotion.

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Moving On

Photos: 'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

Gifford told fans she will pursue other passion projects after leaving Today and promised she will not drop out of the spotlight.

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TV Divas

Photos: 'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

This February, she was event spotted at a star-studded event with Kelly. The beauties attended the Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala in Scottsdale, Arizona and were all smiles as they posed together for the cameras.

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Betrayed!

Photos: 'Today' Cast Throws Kathie Lee Gifford Goodbye Party
Source: INSTAR Images

A source said Kotb was "blindsided" by Gifford and Kelly's close relationship,especially since no one else in the Today team was a fan of the controversial anchor.

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