Jenna Bush Hager joining Hoda Kotb as co-host of 4th hour of TODAY

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager pose for a photo on the set of the TODAY show at NBC studios in New York, July 27, 2018. (TODAY file photo)

NEW YORK - Jenna Bush Hager will join Hoda Kotb as the permanent co-host of TODAY’s fourth hour later this year.

The announcement was made during Tuesday's broadcast. It comes three months after Kathie Lee Gifford announced she would step down in April to focus on outside projects.

Bush Hager has been a part of TODAY since 2009, filing stories and interview segments. In recent years, she's been one of TODAY's main fill-in hosts for the fourth hour whenever Kathie Lee or Hoda was out.

The TODAY show posted on their website part of an email to staffers from NBC News chief Noah Oppenheim, saying Bush Hager's "compassion and curiosity come through in all of her stories, along with her Texas-sized sense of humor....While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to Kathie Lee, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to make some changes at 10 a.m."

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