Kathie Lee Gifford on Her 'Today' Show Replacement: 'Whoever Hoda Wants, Hoda Gets!' (Exclusive)

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Kathie Lee Gifford says Hoda Kotb is in charge when it comes to her replacement on the Today show.

Gifford announced on Tuesday that she was leaving the fourth hour of the NBC morning show -- which she hosts with Kotb -- after more than 10 years on the program. ET spoke with the two women on Wednesday, when Gifford made it clear that Kotb gets a say in what's coming next.

"Whoever it is, it's going to be the most blessed person on Earth," Gifford said about her replacement. "We don't know if it's going to be a woman or a man or anything in between. We don't know! We're not judging, whoever Hoda wants, Hoda gets!"

Although Kotb was more hesitant, Gifford stressed, "Yes! No matter what she says, yes. It comes down to her."

Kotb, of course, will definitely miss her partner in crime. 

"Nobody can fill those, no one can fill those shoes," she told ET. 

Gifford revealed on Wednesday's show that while she's leaving the Today show in April, she's actually taking the entire month of January off to work on other projects, including directing a film and working with Dolly Parton. Despite the bittersweet news of her departure, the mother of two noted to ET that her remaining time on Today will be "happy months." 

"I'm excited about my new projects, and Hoda's going with me, nobody knows!" Gifford jokingly said.

On Tuesday, Gifford fought back tears while announcing she was leaving the Today show, especially when she talked about her special friendship with Kotb.

"I have something to share with everybody and it's bittersweet, as these things always are, but I've been here almost 11 years," she said on-air. "Thought I would stay one year. Something happened along the way. Fell in love with a beautiful Egyptian goddess and now, when it's our 11th anniversary, I'm gonna be leaving the Today show. It's an exciting time for me and I'm thrilled about all the projects that are coming up, but it's also hard because the reason that I stayed longer than a year is because I love everybody here so much."

ET has learned that NBC executives are now “strongly considering" current Today show contributor and correspondent Jenna Bush Hager to be Gifford's replacement.

“The likelihood of it going to her is high," a source told ET. "She’s very well liked here. She would theoretically be filling Gifford’s seat in the show’s fourth hour after she leaves the program on April 7, 2019, the 11-year anniversary of her start on the show."

Watch the video below for more:

Reporting by Darla Murray.

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