Kathie Lee Gifford Pays a Visit to Hoda and Jenna on ‘Today’

Former Today Show co-host Kathie Lee Gifford celebrated her last day on the fourth hour with pal Hoda Kotb in April. On her last visit to the show in November, the television personality updated viewers and her former colleagues of her new home and projects in Nashville, Tennessee.

Stopping by to visit Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, who filled her seat after her departure, Gifford shared on what motivated her to move and some very important events that are taking place this year.

Kathie Lee Gifford | John Lamparski/Getty Images

Catching up with Kath in November

During her visit in November, Gifford gushed over her new hometown and the inviting atmosphere of the South. “There’s a different culture down there. It’s a culture of kindness in Nashville,” she said, according to People. “They are authentically kind. They are joyful, they have so much fun. I wake up and there are church bells ringing all around me. It’s just a different attitude.”

The co-hosts also asked Gifford about some pics that had circulated late in the summer of her with a gentleman. Gifford revealed that while she did spend some time with business man Randall Cronk, no romance came from their time together.

The former talk show was married to NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford for almost 30 years before he passed away in August 2015, and commented on returning to the dating world after decades of marriage. “I hadn’t been on a date in 33 years,” she shared. “It’s surreal because the world has changed so much. He was a gentleman so it was fine, it was fun, but then I got so busy and we’re just from different worlds.”

Why she moved to Nashville

In speaking of the home shared with her husband and two children, Gifford recalled the joy she experienced raising a family in her previous country house and how it changed when she was by herself.

“This home of mine in Connecticut where Frank and I raised our beautiful children and we had so many happy years, when I was living there alone, dogs can only do so much for you, and I love my dogs.” Gifford explained, according to Today.com.

The former Today Show star revealed the drastic change she went through after her husband died and children grew up and moved out. “It went from being the most teeming, thrilling, joyful, all the dog sounds, the kid sounds, the smoke in the grill and, you know, it just was life,” she remembered. “Then it came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone. And I said I need to make a new life for myself or this one’s gonna kill me. The loneliness was crippling. It was crippling.”

Though she found comfort and company in her career alongside Kotb, having to go back to an empty house at night became too much to bear. “I lived to come in to be with you in the morning,” Gifford told Kotb. “Then I’d go home to it again at night. And I said, ‘Where is there life in abundance?’ And I said, ‘Nashville.’”

Gifford knew she had to make a major change. “I didn’t have a reason to have to stay in this big house anymore,” she said of her Connecticut home. “I found myself dealing with crippling loneliness. I had to make a move to someplace physically, and I had to make emotional moves and spiritual moves. You gotta make new memories or the old ones are going to kill you.”

Wedding season

Now with setting down roots in Nashville and a plethora of projects she’s working on, Gifford also has several weddings to plan and attend. Her son Cody popped the question to girlfriend Erika Brown in May (she said yes!), and her daughter Cassidy got engaged to boyfriend Ben Wierda in November. Add on Kotb’s upcoming nuptials, and Gifford has a packed schedule.

“I got three big weddings this year and I’m just excited,” she said, adding, “It’s life, it’s like the thing I was talking about before. You can’t concentrate on what you’ve lost. You will lose whatever life you have left if you do that. It’ll eat you alive.”