Kathie Lee Gifford No Boon to Today's Fourth Hour

Kathie Lee Gifford returned to daytime TV this month as co-host of Today’s fourth hour, but the response so far seems to be a collective yawn.

In the week ending April 20, Today’s fourth hour posted a 1.5 rating/6 share weighted metered-market household average, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s down 12% from week one, which ended April 13, the first full week in which the hour was co-hosted by Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

The pair replaced Today anchors Natalie Morales and Ann Curry, who had been doing extended duty.

Hour four of Today was also down 17% from last year’s time-period average of 1.8/6 and down 25% from its lead-in, which is Today’s third hour in most markets.

In New York -- the No. 1 DMA and the market where Gifford got her start in 1985 on Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (now Live with Regis and Kelly) -- the show averaged a 1.1/5 for the week ended April 20. That’s down 21% in the market from week one and down 27% from last year, when WNBC was airing NBC Universal’s Martha Stewart in the 10 a.m. hour. It’s also 54% less than what CBS’ Rachael Ray, the time-period leader, does in the hour on rival WABC at a 2.4/10.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997 - September 2002.