Billy Bush’s future at “Today” could be dashed 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 newly leaked video that broke on Friday. The 2005 recording shows Trump, who was newly married to his wife Melania at the time, boasting of trying to sleep with a married woman, who we later learned was “Entertainment Tonight” host Nancy O’Dell. Trump also talked about being able to “grab” women “by the p—y” because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” All the while, Bush eggs on the real-estate mogul.
People, meanwhile, reports that coworkers want to see Bush go and there would not be a lot of love lost if he did leave.
“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 why Bush would be in danger of being fired for the tape, including potential discomfort among coworkers and guests. But the biggest reasons would be ratings and potentially insulting “Today’s” core audience.
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.