Kathie Lee Gifford Posts Sweet Message to Pal Hoda Kotb On Her Engagement

Today Show anchor Hoda Kotb recently announced her engagement to longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman, much to the surprise and delight of her co-hosts and fans.

Also covering the desk for the fourth hour of today now with Jenna Bush Hager, Kotb used to share the time slot with bestie Kathie Lee Gifford until her departure in April. Hosting Today With Kathie Lee and Hoda together for 11 years, Gifford and Kotb formed an unbreakable bond that didn’t stop just because their time together on Today did. Gifford recently shared her joy for her friend, taking to Instagram to send Kotb a congratulatory message.

“Today’s” Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford | Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Saying goodbye

Gifford took to the Today stage as co-host for the last time on April 5. “I feel great,” she said during the broadcast, according to Today.com. “I have no expectations. You just want to bear it well. … You also want to remind people of why this show worked in the beginning — because we have fun. We have a great love and affection and respect for our audience.”

When Gifford was hired for the Today Show gig, she hadn’t planned on staying long. The television personality was soon won over by Kotb and the other Today co-hosts and crew.

“I came for a year. I fell in love with my Egyptian goddess,” she said, speaking of Kotb, “and then I stayed another year because I was starting to fall in love with the people over there. They’re just so amazing. And it’s 11 years later. It’s literally time. I have so many things that I’m working on.”

Besties for life

When Gifford announced in December that she would be leaving Today to pursue other projects, many of her colleagues were excited for her new journey but incredibly sad to see her go, particularly Kotb. She praised her friend and all that she learned while working with Gifford.

“I always felt sitting next to you was like a master class in this broadcasting business, because nobody, nobody, nobody does it like you do it,” Kotb told Gifford, according to Today.com. “Nobody ever has and nobody ever will. You are all by yourself. And I think everything is contagious. Your fearlessness is contagious.”

Through their 11 years together, Gifford and Kotb saw each other through many of life’s stages. From Kotb’s budding relationship with Schiffman and adopting daughter Haley Joy (she adopted her second daughter Hope Catherine in April) to Gifford losing her husband Frank after 29 years marriage, followed shortly after by her mother, the two had leaned on each other through good times and bad. Viewers witnessing their growing friendship grew to adore the Today fourth hour co-hosts due to their genuine bond.

“I don’t think we can underestimate what an impact you’ve had,” Kotb told Gifford. “People grew up watching you, and by the way, they’ve watched you through every stage of your life — your marriage, your children, losing Frank. Full circle life.”

Gifford knew that the person who took her place at the desk with Kotb was getting more than just a great job. “Whoever gets the privilege of sitting next to you is going to have the time of their life, and the friend for life,” Gifford shared.

Instagram wishes

Since Gifford had seen Kotb and Schiffman’s relationship since its beginning, the former Today Show star was overjoyed for her dear friend’s joyful news of getting engaged.

:My sweet friend’s joy has come full circle and I could not be more thrilled for her!” Gifford captioned a pic of herself with Kotb. “Joel is a wonderful, loving man. I wish this beautiful family all the happiness in the world!”

Both of Gifford’s children are also engaged, so she’s going to have a lot of upcoming weddings to attend!