Hoda Kotb has split from fiancé Joel Schiffman after eight years together.
The Today show anchor — who shares daughters Haley Joy, 4, and Hope Catherine, 2, with the businessman — announced the news during the third hour of the morning show on Monday.
“Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and really meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we’re better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple,” the 57-year-old newswoman said on Today With Hoda & Jenna. “So we decided we are going to start this new year and begin it on our new path as loving parents to our adorably delightful children — and as friends.”
Explaining why they split, Kotb said, “It’s not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, a season or for a lifetime. I feel like ours was meant to be there for a season.”
Kotb said viewers had been asking why she wasn’t wearing her engagement ring. She admitted feeling “weird” and “awkward” sharing the news publicly and had been “struggling with” what to say. However, “often we share the joyous pieces of our life,” she said. “The engagement… The adoption of my children and all the joy.” She said she’s sharing the breakup because life isn’t always “a pretty picture.”
Plus, she added, “I think “a lot of women know what this feels like in this moment to be changing course in life. I feel really brave in this moment.”
Kotb called Schiffman, 63, a “great guy” and “kind and loving person.” She said they are “both good” and are focused on co-parenting “those two lovely kids.”
The pair quietly started dating before making their romance public in 2015. They got engaged in 2019. They adopted Haley in 2017 and Hope in 2019.
Kotb said she was “terrified” to discuss adoption with Schiffman after they first started dating because he already had an adult daughter at that point. Kotb recalled mustering up the nerve — and that began their adoption journey.
“I said I chose right,” she recalled in October. “I chose a man who chose my happiness over his convenience maybe in that moment.”
Kotb announced her plan last year to adopt a third child, noting that the paperwork was in and they were just waiting for a match.