Billy Bush’s Departure From ‘Today’ Is Now Official

Billy Bush Today
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Billy Bush and NBC’s “Today” show officially parted ways Monday, the denouement, perhaps, to one of the strangest episodes in the recent history of the frenzied TV-news industry.

“Billy Bush will be leaving the Today show’s 9 a.m. hour, effective today,” said Noah Oppenheim, an NBC News senior vice president who oversees the unit’s “Today” franchise, in a memo.”While he was a new member of the ‘Today’ team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family.  We wish him success as he goes forward.”

The separation marks a quick reversal of fortune for Bush, who arrived at NBC’s “Today” just weeks ago to inject a new tone into the morning-show franchise’s 9 a.m. broadcast, which competes directly in many markets with the ABC syndicated program “Live,” hosted by Kelly Ripa. NBC made significant changes to the hour. Bush’s move to the show resulted in longtime “Today” anchor Natalie Morales moving to the West Coast to work on “Access Hollywood” to serve as a “Today” correspondent and Willie Geist departing to work on a revamped Sunday “Today” edition.

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Bush’s tumble came after the revelation of his presence on a 2005 “outtake” from “Access Hollywood,” which Bush once co-hosted, showing him engaging in rough banter with real-estate mogul Donald Trump, now the Republican presidential nominee. In the tape, Trump boasts of his ability to sexually harass and assault women due to his celebrity status. In the conversation, Bush appears to egg him on. Speaking during an interview with CNN Monday, Melania Trump, the candidate’s wife, suggested Bush was to blame for Trump’s remarks, though the tape makes it clear Trump made his comments unprovoked by the former “Access Hollywood” anchor.

NBC initially seemed ready to defend the anchor, releasing a statement of apology from him a week ago. As news outlets continued to play the tape for days, Bush’s part in the dialogue was highlighted again and again. Even NBC’s own Seth Meyers has poked fun at him in late-night monologues.”Saturday Night Live” poked fun at the episode in this past weekend’s “Weekend Update.” Reaction within the production staff of “Today” may have also turned the tide  of sentiment against him. A number of female “Today” staffers were upset and offended by the remarks, according to people familiar with the situation, leaving Bush’s position on the show untenable.

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Bush released his own statement. “I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues.  I look forward to what lies ahead.”

Under the terms of his separation from NBC, Bush is able to seek out new employment, said Marshall Grossman, his attorney.  “Billy is no longer employed by NBC. He is a free agent, and there is no non-compete,” said Grossman, speaking via text message. Grossman declined to comment on whether his client received any financial settlement as part of the arrangement. In a statement released Friday night, the attorney disputed reports of a $10 million payment, noting “that amount has not been discussed.”

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  1. Rahn Coleman says:

    This is a big stupid mistake. THEY WE’RE AFTER TRUMP !! WHY WAS BILLY NOT EDITED OUT? I am definately not a Trump supporter. But we are getting a bit OUTLANDISH with this Uber surveillance. No one is PC 24/7 for 50 years. ONLY LIARS.
    Adolph Hitler the total picture of political correctness and morality on his way up. Is that what we want?

  2. Tell It says:

    Hadn’t even heard of Billy Bush until this incident. Billy, we hardly knew ye…

  3. Chicago860 says:

  4. Chicago860 says:

    Translation: “When we realized we couldn’t edit his voice out of the clip, we had to let him go. Ends justify means and Hillary is the end.

  5. IT--II--IT says:

    People STILL watching INTEL RUN — – ‘tell–lie–vision’ ???

    STILL ???

  6. BillUSA says:

    Collateral damage as NBC covers its tracks.

  7. BUSHLEAGUE Politics says:

    Can the maggots at NBC spare us all the drama. We all know poor Billy Bush’s is leaving with approximately a $10 million payout and a co-host gig at another network, probably ABC as the replacement on KELLY: LIVE. Congratulations to Billy on his big payday.

  8. Mike says:

    I’m sure he’ll get a job at Fox News or Trump TV in just a few weeks.

  9. Contessa46 says:

    The gorilla did it! That’s Trumps excuse? Stand back because you may likely be blamed for something by Trump. Piece of scum. Bush was there doing his job and Trump freely make an ass of himself. Should he be fired–no- sanctioned -yes.

  10. Michael Anthony says:

    Perhaps he should now sue the Trumps for Melania saying Bush “egged” on her poor wee little husband. Defamation, since it’s clear NO ONE egged Trump on.

  11. Kyle says:

    You know – he would have a bright future, if he were only running a maniacal unhinged racist dictator – uh President – at least 35% of citizens would think he is still pretty great. hmmm

  12. Congratulations, Nothing But Crap channel. In your attempt to destroy a political candidate you didn’t like, you’re about to incur a major lawsuit from a beloved TV host for Wrongful Termination. You just proved that every one of your employees is disposable, and private moments can and will be used against them to destroy their careers at any time. Hope your O & A Insurance is paid up…

    • The Truth says:

      The laws in the United States work differently than those in Trump Land, where you apparently reside. By executing a separation agreement, Billy Bush relinquishes any right to sue for wrongful termination, which would nevertheless be groundless and consequently a fool’s errand.

      Bush’s downfall demonstrates just how toxic it is to carelessly associate with Donald Trump. Billy took the hit, but the hypocrites in NBC management who sat on the tape’s contents — the Washington Post broke the story even though NBC executives knew about Trump’s disgusting comments well before their release — should be unceremoniously booted as well.

      Don’t hold your breath. Or maybe you should.

      As the media digs deeper into the rotten reality of Trump’s past, its highly probable that more rank details of his sociopathic character will augment the foul stench to his campaign. But that won’t make any difference to his delusional supporters who are determined to stick with Donald all the way down the toilet.

    • Michael Anthony says:

      Lawsuit? No, the deal is done and no lawsuit will be coming. Trump has no grounds for lawsuit, he spoke freely.

      You don’t understand US law. Almost everyone is employed at will and can be fired for any reason. Only ones are those with contracts. Obviously Bush made a deal to exit. No laws broken.

      And what “beloved” host are you talking about? Certainly no one in this story.

  13. Ben says:

    Not a great loss, the most annoying man in show business

  14. Raymond Collier says:

    This is nothing but convenient damage control on the part of N.B.C. for the controversy that Billy Bush started, but from where N.B.C. profited from. In other words, ‘plausible deniability.’

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