Smart money says Kathie Lee Gifford will join Today as host of the fourth hour beginning early next month, according to NBC insiders.
Gifford will join Hoda Kotb as co-anchor of the 10am hour. Ann Curry and Natalie Morales, who’s expecting a baby in September, will work across the first three hours, sources say.
Gifford previously did one guest shot as host of Today’s 10 am hour. She hasn’t been through the daily grind of live morning TV, however, since leaving Live with Regis and Kathie Lee in 2000 after more than a decade.
Gifford, 54, will hold the dubious distinction of being Today’s oldest talent. She is four months older than co-anchor Meredith Vieira.
Contrary to conventional industry practice, Gifford’s age worked in her favor, NBC sources say. The network was looking for another middle-aged woman because that demo comprises much of the viewership from 10 to 11 a.m.
• Related: Read coverage from FTVLive, which broke the story, here…