Billy Bush Is Negotiating Exit From NBC and ‘Today’ (Report)
NBC’s “Today” show co-host Billy Bush is expected to exit the network following the controversy surrounding a decade-old tape that surfaced Friday of the TV personality making lewd sexual comments with Donald Trump, according to CNN.
“Billy Bush’s departure from NBC and the ‘Today’ show is a matter of when, not if,” CNN’s Brian Stelter reported, citing sources at the network.
The former “Access Hollywood” host is believed to be negotiating an exit from “Today,” which he joined earlier this year.
Stelter said Bush was a rising star but “his star has collapsed” and even mentioned that a previously scheduled party for Bush with his “Today” colleagues has been canceled.
CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin’s response when hearing the news was, “This is huge.”
On Friday, The Washington Post published a video tape of Trump on a hot mic boasting to Bush about kissing, groping and having sex with women, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do anything … I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said. “Grab ‘em by the p–y.”
Bush is heard throughout the tape agreeing with Trump and even egging him on. Bush came forward to immediately apologize on Friday after the tape was leaked, saying he was “embarrassed and ashamed” of his behavior.
However, “Today” executive producer Noah Oppenheim sent a memo to his staff on Sunday that Bush would be suspended, “pending further review of this matter.”
The New York Post reported on Monday night that Bush bragged to colleagues about having a tape of Trump “being a real dog” while he was in Brazil covering the Rio Olympics for NBC. If Bush knew about the tapes and didn’t reveal such damaging information about the GOP presidential nominee to NBC News, it raises journalism ethical issues. The Post notes it could even be a violation of Bush’s contract with NBC.