Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
"I've been seeing someone for about a year," Katie Couric confesses. He's banker John Molner. "He's great. He's from Chicago. I love Midwesterners."
She pauses, then cracks, "I like Southerners and Northerners and Westerners, too!"
During a chat Tuesday with USA TODAY about her new Milk Mustache ad being unveiled on her Katie talk show Friday, Couric, 56, explained, "My parents met in Chicago so it's always had a special place in my heart."
Although she doesn't want to talk about him, she can't help but talk about him. She has been public with him in the past week, sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden for a Knicks-Celtics game on May 1 and posing with him on the red carpet at Monday's Met gala.
"Talk about stressful," she says. "Going to that event: wow. Nicki Minaj was in front of me; Tom Brady and Gisele Bundhen were behind me. Somebody make me disappear! Oops, I already had."
But she and Molner, she says, are a happy duo.
"We're having a great time. He's really funny and very successful in his own right. In a different line of work. A little more age appropriate."
How old is he? "He's six younger than I am," says Couric, who has dated younger men in the past including trumpeter Chris Botti (5 years younger) and entrepreneur Brooks Perlin (17 years her junior). "But hey, I've got a lot of energy, you know. I need someone who can keep up with me!"
She offers that her mom "really likes him." And laughs, saying, "I encouraged him to be very Eddie Haskell around her. So he's always saying, 'May I get you another Diet Coke, Mrs. Couric?'"
With daughter Ellie, 21, set to graduate from an Ivy League school in a week and daughter Carrie, 17, a junior in high school, her empty nest is looming. Is she worried?
"It's less that I'm worried about being an empty nester than I am at being absolutely flabbergasted at how fast time flies. That's a little bit scary. As my friend John says, 'You're never going to be any younger. You've got to enjoy the road ahead.'"