Jenna Bush Hager is officially stepping in to co-host “Today” alongside Hoda Kotb come April when longtime host Kathie Lee Gifford departs the morning show.
Hager confirmed on Tuesday that she’ll be taking over the show’s fourth hour and couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity. She said:
“It feels humbling and I can’t believe it. My dad just wrote me three words which made me weep: ‘very proud dad.’ Which I’m like, what is there to be proud about? I’m just drinking wine in the morning!”
However, the 37-year-old said her mom, former First Lady Laura Bush, isn’t a fan of one aspect of her new gig — the wine drinking.
Hager explained to People:
“My mom judges, just so you know. She kind of does. But [the wine] is just there as a symbolic thing like, ‘come and sit with us and come hang out with us.’”
Both Hager and Kotb are busy moms, meaning sometimes they just want to sit down with a glass of wine while shooting. She added:
“There’s days where I have to take my kids to school and work out and do whatever else and have meetings and write a book — whatever. Hoda, too. We’re busy. So on some days we have some of it and some days we don’t.”
Kotb said that while there are many changes coming to the show’s fourth hour, the wine is there to stay.
In some ways, it’s a nod to the legacy that Gifford is leaving behind, she said.
Kotb told the magazine:
“Kathy left a legacy that will be there forever. One thing is for sure, we’re going to have lively conversations. It is still a party. That’s what works. I think wine immediately shows the party continues and it should. Wine comes with deep conversations. It comes with parties. It comes with everything, and I think there’s just something symbolic about having — inviting someone in that way.”
Giffords final day on the show is April 5.