Kathie Lee Gifford says she is feeling "relieved" following the announcement of her exit from the TODAY show.
The TV host made the comment while speaking to both fans and her TODAY show co-hosts Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker sitting with her.
"I feel so relieved," she said. "I've known it was coming for a long long time and you want to get your story out before somebody else tries to tell your story in an inaccurate way."
"I've always tried to be an authentic person, I've been honest all along, so when you're misrepresented, it bothers you because you say, 'I want everybody to know my truth,'" Gifford added.
“I feel so relieved… because I've known it was coming for a long, long time. You want to get your story out before somebody else tries to tell your story in an inaccurate way.” @kathielgifford talks about her major announcement yesterday – that she’s leaving TODAY in 2019. pic.twitter.com/PREDjHCZE0— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 12, 2018
She then went on to reveal that while many were surprised at the news, Kotb has actually known for some time that it was coming.
"Hoda's known it for a long, long time," Gifford confessed. "All these other projects have been bubbling up … and it's so exciting. Movies and music and so many wonderful things. And I need the time to do them properly."
"I went to our bosses here, actually almost two years ago and said, 'I'm going to do one more year with Hoda woman. I'll go out. I'll retire with 10, a nice round number, 10 years with my sun goddess from Egypt.' And so that was the arrangement until we had some turmoil here in our midst," she later recalled.
"Noah Oppenheim came to me and basically said, 'Kathie, can you just stay? Say for a little longer?'" Gifford continued. "I don't want to leave, I just have to do my other stuff. So I said, 'If you guys can work it out for me so I can still do my projects, and I'll stay.' And I was thrilled with that decision. But now there's like, six other projects."
Gifford's exit announcement was certainly a shock for fans of the star, but luckily they will still have some time with her on-camera, as she will not be officially leaving until April 2019.
The TODAY show airs on weekdays at 7 a.m. ET on NBC.