Billy Bush’s future at “Today” could be cut short in the aftermath of his participation in the leaked Donald Trump tape.
“He will never be on the show again,” an on-air source told CNN’s Brian Stelter, who wrote an in-depth book about the NBC show’s ratings war with “Good Morning America.”
On Monday, a second source confirmed to Stelter that Bush likely wouldn’t be returning.
Bush is featured heavily with Trump in a video from 2005 that surfaced on Friday. The recording shows Trump, who was newly married to Melania Trump at the time, boasting of trying to sleep with a married woman. Access Hollywood identified the woman Trump was referring to as current “Entertainment Tonight” host Nancy O’Dell. She and Bush formerly cohosted “Access Hollywood” together. Trump also talked about being able to “grab” women “by the p—y” or kiss them because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” All the while, Bush eggs on the real-estate mogul.
People magazine, meanwhile, reports that coworkers say they want to see Bush leave, and that there would not be a lot of love lost if he did.
“The feeling is, ‘Is he so compromised that he can’t be a neutral journalist? Can people see him as being a professional?'” a source told People. “It really seems like it’s time for him to go. We’re all waiting to see what happens.”
There are several reasons Bush would be in danger of being fired for his involvement in the tape, including potential discomfort among coworkers and guests. But the biggest would be ratings and potentially insulting the core audience of the “Today” show.
Bush hosts the show’s 9 a.m. hour, which is heavy on lifestyle stories. The morning show’s audience is already driven by stay-at-home wives and mothers, but the 9 a.m. hour lends itself to an even heavier female audience.
Representatives for “Today” didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.