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Jenna Bush Hager Reveals Her Matchmaking Tips After Setting Up ‘Today’ Cohost Hoda Kotb With a Date

Jenna Bush Hager Reveals How Shes Setting Up Cohost Hoda Kotb on Dates
Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Jenna Bush Hager has been playing matchmaker and helping Hoda Kotb find love.

“I have a good method for hooking people up,” Bush Hager, 42, shared on NBC’s Today with Hoda & Jenna on Friday, March 22. “Here it is … and I’m utilizing this currently with a good friend of mine.”

Bush Hager then proceeded to reveal that the friend she was referring to was wearing “a white starch shirt,” which happened to be what Kotb, 57, was dressed in.

Kotb started to laugh as she playfully touched her top as the camera zoomed in on her smiling.

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“So, here’s what you do,” Bush Hager explained. “You don’t just go, cause here’s what happens: you end up asking the same people, like ‘Hey, Henry! Who’s cute at your work that would be good for Hoda?’ ‘Hey…ba ba ba….’ Same, same people. You stop that. You go outside your zone.”

Bush Hager then went on to point out that she had had success doing that before when she ended up setting up Libby Leist, the executive vice president of Today and NBC News, with her now-husband, Sayan Ray. “So, with Libby, I texted three people, my sister who [was] in graduate school. One friend that had just moved to Connecticut, so I had a whole new different world, and another friend that had just moved out of the city too,” she noted. “And guess what? One of the friends had somebody. So ask outside of your zone.”

Kotb nodded in agreement and said that she thought that was the key to finding someone.

“Right. You’re right, because if you keep looking and going to the same three places, [they’re] like, ‘I don’t know anybody at work.’ ‘I don’t have a single friend,’” she added.

Bush Hager then expressed that she had started to get frustrated when she had been asking around previously trying to set up her coworker with someone in Manhattan because no one she reached out to at first could think of anyone who would be a good fit for Kotb.

“It [got] kind of lame because people [were] like ‘There’s nobody in New York to set her up with,’” she shared.

Hearing that statement shocked Kotb as she sarcastically repeated, “Nobody in New York.”

Nonetheless, Bush Hager made it clear that she disagreed with that statement and told the audience that she had, in fact, found Kotbe a match. “I was like, ‘Guess what? There are people.’”

While Bush Hager didn’t disclose the identity of the mystery man, Kotb hinted that she was happy her coanchor went out of the way to find her a date when others had given up.

“By the way, you are really good at setting people up, as I’d know,” she proclaimed.

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This isn’t the first time the Today star has publicly opened up about her love life recently. When she was on the The Kelly Clarkson Show earlier this month, she told host Kelly Clarkson that she had been out with someone.

“I do have to say something did happen the other day that hasn’t happened in two years,” Kotb said on the episode. “I had a date! I had a date.’

While Kotb was proud of herself for getting back into the dating scene, she did clarify that it was “nothing but a date.”

Kotb’s recent romantic updates have come two years after she and Joel Schiffman called off their engagement. The pair, who had been together for eight years, share daughters Haley, 7, and Hope, 4.

Kotb announced their split during a January 2022 episode of Today With Hoda & Jenna, saying, “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. So we decided that we are going to start this new year and begin it kind of on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends.”

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