Today: Willie Geist Leaving Third Hour, Passes Baton to Billy Bush

Citing an overabundance of “hats” to wear, Willie Geist announced on Monday that he is stepping away from the third hour of NBC’s Today.

Listing his commitments to Today’s weekday installments as well as Sunday Today and MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Geist said during a group huddle, “I’ve got a big head, but not big enough for all those hats. So I’m going to step away from the third hour of the Today show [and] pass the hat to a guy with another big head, Billy Bush.”

Geist will continue to be seen on Today, during its earlier hours, as well as on Sunday Today and Morning Joe.

Bush’s credits of course include Access Hollywood and a recent on-camera row with Al Roker, as they debated disgraced Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s fish tale.

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175 Comments
  1. vicki says:

    Billy Bush, gag. He will not be a welcome addition to the 3rd hour of Today. Looks like, if i’m home, i will have to to watch Kelly and whoever she gets to replace Michael Strahan (who i never liked either). Slim pickings.

    • virginia mcdevitt says:

      Agree

      • Sandy Kelly says:

        i have been a Today fan for years, but Matt and Savannah have become so opinionated I can’t stand to listen to them. I loved Willie and I am glad he is not leaving. ABC and CBS morning shows all stink. I guess I will become a fan of Fox. The Today is so much for the Democratic party it is pathetic. Be neutral and give both sides of the story. You just lost a fan. This show is as bad as Obama, always assumes the worst from Americans.

        • Sonia Anway says:

          It’s interesting how someone can watch something and have a different take on it ,I have watched the today show & have not had the opinion of Matt & Savannah favoring the Democrats ,I don’t see it but this election season has put people’s on edge ,pretty sad what is going on ,half of the country hates Trump & the other half hates Hillary .

        • Belinda says:

          I agree one hundred percent! Also, how did Tamron Hall land a job on the Today Show? She is rude to the guests and other news anchors and too opinionated on her political beliefs. Love Al Roker and can’t understand why he stays. I miss Willie Geist and Natalie Morales.
          I am glad Billy Bush is gone. Now get rid of Tamron Hall, or I am going to watch Good Morning American from now on.

      • Donna Turner says:

        I agree also

    • Terrie says:

      I just don’t like Kelly’s voice.

    • Nan says:

      Make that 3!

    • Willie was smart to leave. Billy Bush is a complete narcissist. It’s all about him. He thinks HE is the star. Ugh. Today show made a HUGE mistake here. You’re losing viewers.

      • Kelly says:

        Miss, miss, miss Willy!!!

        • Patti says:

          Agree love Willy, used to be a Matt fan. No longer

          • Shelley Hooper says:

            Matthew Lauer gets paid so much they have to sell so many commercials. I quit watching two years ago. Interviews and music acts were being cut off mid answer or mid song for a commercial. I have been hanging on by a string since Meredith Viera started. I switched to CBS.

      • Jayne Haas says:

        Agree completely.

      • Becky says:

        He also never shuts up. Poor Al can’t get a word in edgrwise between Tamron & Billy.. I cants stand how they all talk over each other & you can’t hear anything …Al & Natalie & Willie are & were the best. I’d like to see the rest go.. especially Matt. He’s boring & old news!!

      • pam evans ward says:

        I hate to totally agree but Billy Bush does not fit in with the Today Show. It is all about him, totally makes everything presented on the show about him. Told my daughter today that after watching you guys for over 40 years, I am moving to another Network. Sad, but time to move on.

  2. Yolo says:

    Should have known.

  3. Luis says:

    Is Willie Matt Lauer’s heir apparent yet?

  4. TW says:

    Boo. I dislike Billy Bush. Willie and Tamron were the only reason to watch the 9 a.m. show.

    • virginia mcdevitt says:

      I only watched to see Willie and Tamron ‘never liked Billy !!!

      • Anjali says:

        Oh no, they had such a good thing going with Tamron, Willie, Al, Natalie, Dylan and Carson…very cool vibe I looked forward to in the morning. But they went polar opposite! I am feeling awkward watching Billy with Tamron and Al. This is a bad fit. I’m not hating, but Billy just seems like a throwback to a day I don’t want to return to.

        • Donna says:

          I totally agree….so disappointed Willie’s gone.

        • Theresa says:

          I agree , it is not the same. This is very disappointing 😏

        • Totally agree! I loved watching the 3rd hour with Willie, Al, Natalie & Tamron even though Tamron is my least favorite. But the camaraderie between Willie, Al & Natalie on-air for sure was awesome! They had such a good thing going with them all! Now, i’m not such a fan! I haven’t been watching most of the month of August since we started a house remodel, so my daily routine is out of sync. I didn’t realize Willie was gone until today too, so sad & disappointed about that! NBC needs to fix this – bring them back!!!!! It just isn’t the same now, Tamron is to flighty at times and Al acts like he doesn’t like working with Billy Bush very much. The on-air chemistry between them all just seems off. Yuck! I might have to find something else to watch. Way to go TODAY NBC, you FAILED!

      • Donna Turner says:

        Totally agree!

    • beki5 says:

      Totally agree!

    • Donna Turner says:

      Totally agree! Love Tamara,Willie,and Al! Can’t watch another Bush on this show!

    • Donna Turner says:

      Yes and I love Al also.

  5. DMC says:

    The Today Show keeps making serious mistakes making me glad I changed to the The CBS Morning Show. The inclusion of Billy Bush makes the show an extension of the Access Hollywood show.

    • virginia mcdevitt says:

      Agree!

      • Michelr says:

        I love Al. Tamron is just too perky and self absorbed. No wonder she is not married!!
        I miss Natalie and Willie.

        • Peggy Corley says:

          I agree with Micheir – I miss Natalie and Willie and feel that we don’t have the
          “real story” about their leaving. I am not pleased with Matt nor Savannah, nor Tamron and am tired of Al. I usually don’t watch TV at all or I watch another morning show.

        • Annemarie Gager says:

          Absolutely! I think Tamron is a high maintenance P.I.T.A. that makes everyone at the table uncomfortable with her off handed comments. She seems to need ALOT of attention and doesn’t care how she gets it.

          • Donna Turner says:

            I think Tamara. Is great!I feel Willie was forced out for Bush!Also Natalie was great too.anymore Bush kids they can get?.yuck!

          • SA says:

            I totally agree!! It is so obvious some days how awkward Tamron makes the table feel…..

        • Ann Sauer says:

          Very disappointed that Willie Giest and Natalie Morales are no longer on Today. Probably won’t watch it anymore.

          • Cathy Southerland says:

            Show has really gone down hill with this hour. It’s just dumb; not in a good why. They seem like they want to entertain each other. Is it suppose to be a news show? If so, fooled me. Your right about Willie Giest and Natalie Morales I’m out.

        • Billie Jaegerb@pacbell.net says:

          Tamarin Hall really needs to go!

  6. rebecca says:

    Billy Bush is annoying.

  7. David4 says:

    Damn this show is dead.

  8. That Editor Guy says:

    He’s so tabloid – makes everything he’s in seem tacky and sensationalized.

  9. MagicallySuspicious says:

    Willie and Tamron are the best part of the show now.

    • Terrie says:

      I don’t like Tamron. Where did Natalie go? I usually work during day so I am lost at what is going on

    • Dove says:

      Agreed, Willie and Tamron were the best part of the show. I really liked Natalie too. Tamron is the only reason I stay, but Billy Bush is such an awful replacement. He’s overpowering, aggressive and unfunny. I guess it’s time to try another morning show team. CBS Morning Show or GMA???

  10. Max says:

    I watched the Third Hour precisely for Willie Geist. Now I’ll have to decide between the lesser of two evils, Billy Bush or Kelly Ripa. Nope, I’m switching to The Doctors instead.

  11. Lori says:

    Well that does it for me. He was the reason I watched the third hour. Liked Natalie also and she is now gone, so I’m out.

  12. Laurie says:

    Well my new work schedule now makes it difficult to catch the Today Show. But I am bummed to hear this, as Willie was a favorite. Not a Billy Bush fan. Much too cheesy. I guess that’s what they are going with for the 3rd hour now though now that Natalie and Willie are gone

  13. I cannot stand Billy Bush. The reason why I tuned in was because of the chemistry between Willie, Tamron, Natalie and Al. Now Willie and Natalie are gone. So am I.

  14. Lyn says:

    Love Billy B.

  15. Lala van camp says:

    Willie Geist is the best thing that happened to the today show! Willie is so natural, fun and humble…he will be a big loss to the show.

  16. Ethel says:

    Have to agree with a lot of other people. I knew Billy Bush was coming on the 3rd hour of the Today show but thought it was to replace Natalie, not Willie. I’m done. Can’t stand Billy Bush, Kelly and the flavor of the day is on here at a different time so she is not an option. Gosh, I might have to actually find something to do and leave the house……Horrors!!!!! Retirement was supposed to be fun, not stressful……lol

  17. Gary A. says:

    As a Morning Joe viewer I am very familiar with Willie Geist. He has old-fashioned cerebral newsie “gravitasse” otherwise can be rather bland but in a nice way. Too smart or respectable to make a “stupid” comment but is not characteristically humorous or witty like his dad. In comparing Bush vs. Geist: Willie is more newsy less entertaining. Bush as a set-up/interviewer to celebrities is more entertaining and not so newsy. Today Show 3rd hour should be more entertaining after 2 hours of news.

  18. Bobby says:

    I can not stomach Billy Bush, especially after he told Al Roker to “calm down” and kept apologizing for Ryan Lochte and his lies. Please, make him go away.

  19. Karen says:

    Will certainly miss Mr. Geist on Today. Was hoping they would replace Matt with him. Losing Natalie and Willie is not a smart way to go. Tameron Hall is not well liked.

  20. MiaB says:

    Ugh, Billy Bush is a douche.
    I enjoy watching Willie and Tamron at 9 after GMA goes off. Sad.

  21. Betty Griffin says:

    Love Willie! With him leaving the third hour of the Today show and Natalie leaving, I will not be watching. Cannot stand the annoying Billy Bush. Will catch Willie on Morning Joe and I will now watch the Doctors. Goodbye Today show.

  22. mary says:

    I thought Geist had left already because of him doing the Sunday edition. They also promo’d Today’s Take as being Tamron, Billy, & Al. I prefer Billy on Access as I cannot stand Natalie. But if it’s true they wanted a lighter 3rd hour, Willie should be on something more newsworthy.

  23. Deborah Mykytiuk says:

    I would like to know who the designer or maker of the dress Tamron is wearing on August 22,2016

  24. Trish Hughes says:

    Thought maybe I was in the minority in not liking Billy Bush. Realize after reading comments that this is not the case. Won’t be watching that third hour anymore–really cannot take him. Willie is one of my favorites. Will miss him! Will be curious to see if this affects their numbers.

  25. Kayla Hudson says:

    I don’t think Billy the guy for the show, I want Willie back!

  26. Joyce says:

    I loved the chemistry of Willie, Tamron, Al & Natalie. I’m going to miss Willie & Natalie. I’m not sure I can stand a whole hour of Billy Bush

  27. Krista Evans says:

    Bring Willie back!!! Send bush back to LA I won’t be watching

  28. Marilyn Cain says:

    So sorry to see Willie go, he was the only solid one on this show. Tamron is too giddy and “hey everyone look at me giggle”. AL is often condescending and negative (see how that feels?). Billy Bush fits in with the other two, but they don’t add up for me.
    All the best to Willie and his family. See you on Sunday.

  29. Robin says:

    Are you kidding me? You had a good thing with Willie, Al, Tamaron, and Natalie.
    Billie Bush is not Today show material he is national Enquirer .
    Hope your sponsors stick with you cause your ratings are going to drop.
    Moving to another Network sorry!

  30. Eileen Graham says:

    So sorry your leaving . You will be missed always enjoyed watching you. The best to you in whatever you do.

  31. Terrie says:

    The only person who needs to leave is Tamra Hall. I am not sure she brings much to the table. She is the annoying person who is on outside trying fit in the inner circle.

  32. JoAnn says:

    Sorry, but you lost me. Not a Tamron fan, and now without Willie, have already tuned out.

  33. Terrie says:

    Where did Natalie go?

  34. Dove says:

    The only reason left to watch the Today 9am hour IS Tamron Hall. Tamron’s great and Billy Bush is awful. They messed up a great team with Willie, Tamron, Natalie and Al.

  35. wilma elder says:

    sorry you are gone; I don’t like the lineup anymore.

  36. Andrew Hass says:

    I can understand Willie Geist wanting to scale back a little and he had to choose what to give up.Plus even though he will no longer do the third hour of Today full-time maybe he’d still pop in from time to time when he’s needed.

  37. All the wrong people keep leaving/or let go on the Today Show. I will miss Willie and Natalie.Hope Dylan is not going to be replaced, as she has become one of my favorites as well. I love Al, Matt & Savannah so guess who I would like to see leave???!

    • Andrea Espinoza says:

      I agree 100% I loved watching bc of Natalie, Willie & Dylan now two of them are gone n it’s just not the same n I’ve been watching other shows because the chemistry on the show is no longer there. I still love Savannah, Matt n Al but the show just don’t work for me no more it’s off.

  38. Sue Crawford says:

    Omg , I really enjoyed Willie ,a nice ,sweet guy , loved his honesty , he was great with tamron, you should have paid him more to stay , I’m thinking you guys , made a mistake , get him back., I’m going to G.m.a,

  39. Sandy Kelly says:

    i have been a Today fan for years, but Matt and Savannah have become so opinionated I can’t stand to listen to them. I loved Willie and I am glad he is not leaving. ABC and CBS morning shows all stink. I guess I will become a fan of Fox. The Today is so much for the Democratic party it is pathetic. Be neutral and give both sides of the story. You just lost a fan. This show is as bad as Obama, always assumes the worst from Americans.

  40. Sandy says:

    I’m disappointed that Willie has left the third hour – not a good thing after losing Natalie too. I don’t think replacing Willie with Billy is a wise choice – he seems to think he is the leader instead of one of the group. Tameron is starting to be annoying – I don’t like the chemistry between Billy, Tameron & Al. I’m trying to be open minded but I think I will be looking for something else to watch.

  41. Cindy Gillard says:

    I watch today most my life Billy Bush is the worst host they could’ve put on Carson Daly everybody loves him I can’t watch Billy Bush and Tamron what a bad choice today made

  42. Nina says:

    NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO! No one can replace Willie!!

  43. Dianne says:

    I am so disappointed that the third hour of the Today show added Billy Bush. He does not interview well,which was proven by how he was deceived/conned by Ryan Lochte…. I missed Willie during the olymipcs he would have been able to see that Ryan was lying. Goodness, during the interview, I said ” this doesn’t seem right.” Billy just went with the flow like the sensational interviewer he is. Willie Geist is funny, humble, prepared, and most importantly smart… Why.. Why.. Did the Today show make this change? Was Matt threatened by Willie’s appeal.? I noticed there were very few spots with Matt and Willie.

    If the today show was trying to improve, why would they dumb it down with the likes of the annoying, mindless babble of Billy Bush?

  44. Susie says:

    Cant stand Billy. Want to know what happened to Natalie she was my favorite. Will stop watching now.

  45. Laurel Jackson says:

    I only watched because of natalie, Al Roker and willie, Tameron is a freaking flake, and now Billy. I will be turning in elsewhere.

  46. Merrilyn says:

    As much as I like Billy Bush, I miss Willie Giest. Haven’t seen him on “early” yet

  47. Walt says:

    Billy Bush is a disappointment. The Willie Geist portion of the Today show was the only part I ever watched.

  48. Sage Elizabeth says:

    Billy Bush is awful. Loud and tries to control every conversation. This hour has gone down the tubes for me…No longer a watcher

  49. JoAnn Killinger says:

    I always looked to the Today Show to provide me with the “hard news” of the day in the morning with some interesting segments on things important to people’s lives. The best part about the Today Show are Matt, Natalie and Willie. I consider them the “anchors” of the show and the “voices of reason”. They are the ones that bring everyone “”back to center” when the others got/get “too silly”. With the departure of Willie the 3rd hour is lost. It appears the producers of the show are moving it toward yet another “entertainment” show. And the addition of Billy Bush seems to support this. I don’t want to be “entertained”. I want to be informed first, then have some lighter pieces. I hope Willy’s decision to leave was his own for personal/professional reasons. Big loss! And what happened to Natalie?! Another huge loss if she is gone as well. I will not be watching Today anymore. Not worth my valuable time. It is a shame that such a venerable show with a strong legacy is yet another victim of the “pop culture”. Another addition to the “dumbing down” of America! Sad…very poor production decisions…very poor.

    • Theresa in California says:

      I completely agree. I already miss Willie and Natalie. Al and Tamron are funny and takented, but they were better with Willie and Natalie. There was a good energy between the four of them. But I cannot stand Billy Bush. What is NBC thinking? There are times when real and serious news anchors are needed to inform us of the latest news, not “who is dating whom in hollywood.” Yes, even during the 9am hour. I thought the Today show was a genuine news show. Not anymore. Billy Bush is too cheesy to be taken seriously. Today just lost me as a viewer. I have been a loyal fan for over 10 years. But I cannot stand to hear Billy Bush’s voice for one minute. He gives me adrenal fatigue. He always seems so overly hyoed up and inauthentic. To the contrary, Willie is incredibly talented, kind, patient, and humble. I will now only watch Today on Sunday mornings and I plan to watch Natalie on her West Coast show. But for now during the week – it’s Goodbye Today show!

  50. Ann Sauer says:

    Very disappointed that Willie Giest and Natalie Morales are no longer on Today. Probably won’t watch it anymore.