Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush will transition to NBC’s Today over the summer, confirm multiple sources.
NBC has yet to confirm. Insiders say he’s under "strong consideration" to join the show but that there’s nothing final yet regarding when or what role he would play.
Sources say that NBC is looking to Bush to bolster Today’s third hour at 9 a.m., which currently features Willie Geist, Tamron Hall, Al Roker and Natalie Morale. Geist, who isn’t necessarily departing weekday Today, is prepping to anchor a new Sunday morning edition of the show. Geist also appears on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Bush is expected to be on hand in Rio to cover the Olympics this summer as part of the Today team, and then transition to Today full time in September. Bush has long covered the Olympics as part of Access Hollywood, which usually produces its show onsite from wherever the games are taking place.
Bush has long wanted to move to network morning news, say sources, and indeed, rumors that he would make the jump have been circulating since last fall. He’s currently in the process of moving his family and household from Los Angeles to New York.
Bush brings years of daily experience — including years of doing live TV with Access Hollywood Live — to Today. Sources also say research shows that Bush appeals to the younger women Today seeks to attract.
Who will take Bush’s place at Access Hollywood is unclear. NBC insiders say that Access Hollywood Live will continue without Bush. The show currently airs in 31 markets, including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported this story.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.