Billy Bush Quits Access Hollywood For Today's 9 AM Slot

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Billy Bush

Billy Bush

Ben Sherwood has to be wanting to punch a puppy right now. The ABC president's failure to give Kelly Ripa a proper head's up on his plan to snatch Michael Strahan away from Live! with Kelly and Michael in favor of Good Morning America has the Mouse House experiencing a PR nightmare of ginormous proportions. Meanwhile, rival The Today Show has tapped Billy Bush to host the 9 am hour of Today

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Bush has hosted NBCUniversal's syndicated entertainment newsmagazine Access Hollywood since 2004. Starting in 2010, he began hosting a daytime spinoff of the program entitled Access Hollywood Live

According to The Hollywood Reporter, at Today Bush is "expected to play a key role in the venerable morning show’s 9 a.m. hour." No word yet on what that means for the time slot's current anchor, Willie Geist.

RELATED: Is Ben Sherwood Gutting 'Live' to Finally Realize His Dream of a Third Hour of GMA?

NBC's move to strengthen the 9 am hour of Today, which competes with Live! With Kelly and Michael in many markets, is the latest salvo in the increasingly volatile morning show wars. This season, Today is besting ABC's GMA in the key 25-54 demo, reports THR.  Disney has denied rumors they want to move Live! from its long-held time slot in favor of expanding the franchise. 

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