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Hoda Kotb praises 'brilliant' Jenna Bush Hager as she announces new venture: 'I'm following in your footsteps'

The Today Show 4th Hour host announced a new project for Read with Jenna


Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on the Today Show© Getty
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
September 14, 2023
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Jenna Bush Hager is ready to turn her love of reading and the book community into an empire, and she has the support of her 4th Hour with Hoda and Jenna co-host Hoda Kotb.

The Today Show star launched her beloved book club Read with Jenna back in March 2019 – one month before she stepped in for Kathie Lee Gifford as 4th Hour co-host – and has since taken it to new heights, or rather, to the silver screen, thanks to her production company Thousand Voices.

In perfect reflection of her production company's name, the famous book worm is on a mission to further highlight authors' voices, and will do so with her forthcoming podcast.

WATCH: Today Show's Hoda Kotb has debate with Jenna Bush Hager live on show

On Thursday, Jenna made the exciting announcement on Today that she was launching the Read with Jenna podcast. Starting September 21st, she'll release weekly episodes of interviews with some of her favorite authors.

She is kicking things off with a Gen Z and Millennial favorite, Colleen Hoover, who has authored bestselling romance novels such as Verity, November 9, Reminders of Him, and It Ends with Us, which has a movie adaptation in the works starring Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni.

Sharing the happy news on 4th Hour, Jenna had a supportive Hoda rooting her on, exclaiming: "Brilliant!" as soon as she shared the happy news, and Jenna in turn noted she is "following in her footsteps," shouting out Hoda's own podcast, Making Space.

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, March 28, 2023© Getty
Jenna is a major bookworm

"I'm so thrilled!" Jenna continued, adding: "I love nothing more than introducing the world to books, but also, introducing the world to the authors."

MORE: Jenna Bush Hager makes bold revelation and confesses: 'I don't care what people say'

MORE: Hoda Kotb reveals Today co-star Jenna Bush Hager's sweet gesture of support during special time away

In a separate conversation for Today, she also said: "I love talking with authors – hearing about the inspirations for their books, their process, who they were as kids and who they are now," and that: "I can't wait to bring their stories to as many listeners as possible."

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She continued: "All of these conversations enrich the experience of reading," noting: "You don’t have to have read these books to listen to these conversations and feel inspired… And you'll leave laughing, which I think is an important way to leave."

The lineup for the rest of the year's episodes is already in place, and it features star authors such as Judy Blume (Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret), Amor Towles (Rules of Civility), Tara Westover (Educated), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale), and even Jerry Seinfeld, whose compilation of some of his comedic writing, Is This Anything? was released in 2020.

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today with Hoda and Jenna© Getty
Hoda, who also has a podcast, celebrated Jenna's exciting news

"I've been inspired by all of these author stories, which are incredibly different," Jenna said.

MORE: Jenna Bush Hager's daughters leave Hoda Kotb in disbelief after appearance in family video

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She added: "We have Javier Zamora, who immigrated by himself at the age of 9 from El Salvador to the United States. We meet Jerry Seinfeld, who everybody knows, but it's also fun to hear who he is behind the comedian, who he is as a father, who he is as a person."

The Read with Jenna podcast will be available through Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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