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Kathie Lee Gifford Joins "Today"

Kathie Lee Gifford is returning to morning television as a co-anchor of the "Today" show's fourth hour.

Gifford will join anchor Hoda Kotb on April 7.

The announcement was made on the NBC show Monday morning.

Ann Curry will continue her role as news anchor of the 7 to 9 a.m. hours of "Today," as well as co-host, with Al Roker, of the 9 a.m. hour. Natalie Morales will join Curry and Roker as a third co-host at 9 a.m. Morales will also continue to serve as national correspondent for "Today" and all platforms of NBC News.

Gifford says it's the right time for her to go back to TV because her children are grown. Her son Cody is going off to college this fall and her daughter Cassidy is a teenager.

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She jokes that she had to get out of the house because she was tired of watching her husband Frank Gifford's "old highlight films in black and white."

Gifford also joked about her timing, returning when she's "eight years older, ten pounds heavier, a half-inch shorter, just in time for HD television."

Gifford left "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" eight years ago.

In a message on her Web site, Gifford said that she has found the years since leaving morning TV "rich, challenging and incredibly rewarding," but that she'd only come back to the small screen if the "right thing" came along.

"The Today Show is the crown jewel of morning television and has been for decades," Gifford wrote. "I'm deeply honored that NBC has asked me to join their talented family, many of whom have been friends of mine for years."

Gifford also said she's looking forward to co-hosting the hour with Hotb.

"She is warm, funny, smart and really interested in all the things that I am that affect our lives and the lives of the people we love," she said.

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