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Be of Good(Bye) Cheer

December 5, 2008 2:18 PM

The timing couldn’t have been worse.

Kathie Lee Gifford

The annual party thrown by the “Today” executive producer and talent for the morning show’s staff had, for several months, been scheduled for Thursday. That, of course, was the day when the bulk of the personnel cuts were enacted on “Today” and in other units of NBC News, cuts made as part of the $500 million NBC Universal retrenchment ordered last October by NBCU President Jeff Zucker.

On Friday, Kathie Lee Gifford opened up the fourth hour of “Today” she co-hosts with Hoda Kotb, waving pictures from the party—including one in which the co-hosts were simultaneously planting kisses on the cheeks of executive producer Jim Bell.

“The ‘Today’ holiday party is thrown each year to thank the hundreds of staff and crew members who work so hard on the show every day. It was personally hosted by Jim Bell and the ‘Today’ talent and was planned months ago,” a spokeswoman for the morning show said.

Blink understands that life must go on. But it does seem a bit tone-deaf to trill on the air about letting the good times roll, a day after the good times came to a screeching halt for so many.

—Michele Greppi

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