But on "Today," Ms. Gifford said, her mandate is to focus on the guests, not herself or her family. Still, on the first day of the job she poked fun at herself and her husband, Frank Gifford, who is 23 years her senior. She recently talked about her plans to bring her 14-year-old daughter, Cassidy, to work with her next week.
"Privacy is like your health," Ms. Gifford said. "It's one of those things in life you take completely for granted until it's gone, then you realize how precious it is. So I'm going to be much more careful this time around to guard private things and keep them more private."
It is not so much that she was burned, she said, by the tabloid attention that came after a child-labor sweatshop scandal in 1996 when she had her own clothing line at Wal-Mart or a year later when a videotape emerged of her husband's tryst with an airline attendant. Rather, Ms. Gifford said, the paparazzi and the half-truths took up too much time and energy.
By the time she left the show with Regis Philbin in July 2000 she was not only bored with their routine (they remain good friends, she said) but also wanted to care for her father, who was seriously ill and later died. She purposely never mentioned her father on the program, she said, to preserve the little privacy she had left.