Willie Geist is leaving the third hour of NBC’s “Today” show, the co-host announced on-air Monday morning. He’ll be replaced by new addition Billy Bush, who was on hand with the rest of the team on Monday morning — the first following the close of the Rio Olympics.
“I’ve been wearing a lot of hats lately. I’ve been doing the Sunday show, I’ve been doing our third hour of the ‘Today’ show with Al and Tamron, I’ve been doing ‘Morning Joe’ every day – there’s been a lot going on,” Geist explained on-air. “So I’ve got to take one of the hats off, I’ve got a big head, but not big enough for all those hats. So I’m gonna step away from the third hour of the ‘Today’ show. It’s hard to do that because of the love I have for you guys, because of the love I have for all of our producers, all of our viewers who have been so good to all of us, but I pass the hat to a guy with another big head — Billy Bush.”
NBC confirmed that Bush would be joining the 9 a.m. portion of “Today” back in May, the latest adjustment to the segment. Former “Today” co-host Natalie Morales recently moved to “Access Hollywood” in Los Angeles, a perch Bush previously occupied. Geist will continue to host Sunday’s “Today” show and co-anchor “Morning Joe” for MSNBC.