Kathie Lee Gifford Exits NBC's 'Today' After Ellen Pompeo Blasts Her and Hoda Kotb

The announcement arrives after Ellen Pompeo calls out the two hosts for their headline about her and former 'Grey's Anatomy' co-star Patrick Dempsey.

AceShowbiz - One of the co-hosts on "Today" is set to bid farewell next April. The NBC morning show announces that TV icon Kathie Lee Gifford will leave her post as her plate has been "overflowing lately with film, music and book projects."

In an memo sent on Tuesday morning, December 11, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim wrote, "After giving us eleven extraordinary years, she's decided to focus her attention full-time on those other creative endeavors."

"When we first launched this incredible hour, no one could have predicted the lightning (or rather, wine) in a bottle that is Hoda [Kotb] & Kathie Lee. Whether in studio or on one of their many road trips, they have delighted our audience with their distinct brand of fun, friendship and adventure," he continued. "During that time, Kathie Lee has cemented her status as one of the most enduring and endearing talents in morning television. In short, she is a legend."

As for Gifford, she recalled her earlier days on the show, "In 2008, I joined the 'Today' show family intending to spend one year." She added, praising her partner Hoda Kotb, "But something unexpected happened along the way: I fell in love with a beautiful, talented, extraordinary Egyptian goddess named Hoda, and an amazing group of individuals who work tirelessly and joyfully at their jobs, many of them starting at midnight, creating an unprecedented four hours of live television."

"I stayed year after year making a million memories with people I will never forget. I leave 'Today' with a grateful heart but I'm truly excited for this new creative season in my life. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who made the years fly by," she said.

The announcement arrives after Ellen Pompeo called out the two hosts for their headline about her and former "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Patrick Dempsey. It was about Pompeo's recent appearance on Jada Pinkett Smith's Facebook show "Red Table Talk" on which she revealed that she hadn't spoken to Dempsey since he left the series in 2015.

"We haven't spoken since he's left the show," the actress shared. "I have no hard feelings toward him, he's a wonderful actor, and we made, you know, the best TV you could make together."

But that was just a small portion of the topics that Pompeo discussed on the show, as she and Jada also had a larger conversation which was about race and her experience raising biracial children. So, when "Today" opted to dismiss it and focus on Dempsey instead, she didn't hesitate to take a jab at the show.

"Hey here’s a suggestion!! Maybe all of you over there lay off the booze and pay attention to the real conversation that took place ?" she wrote on Twitter.

Fans were living it, as one of them said, "You had me at 'lay off the booze' - I stan a legend." Similarly, one other tweeted, "Yes Ellen!! I loved you and Patrick together and I still do (rewatch so much) but I can’t believe how much the media is ignoring so much why you were really there and trying to start so much drama."

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