It's a new day at Today.
Matt Lauer had to inform viewers Tuesday that Billy Bush has indeed left the morning news program. "NBC announced last night that Billy Bush would be leaving the Today show, effective immediately, noting that he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family," he said. "A statement Billy released separately last night read in part, 'I look forward to what lies ahead.'"
"Of course," Lauer added, "all of us here at Today wish Billy the very best."
Tamron Hall, who co-hosted the show's third hour with Bush after he joined Today in August, was similarly straight-faced when she mentioned his exit.
"As you may have heard, our former co-host Billy Bush is no longer with the Today show," Hall told viewers. "This comes after his involvement in an Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump in 2005. As a longtime member of the NBC family, we wish Billy all the best as he moves forward."
Bush's departure came in light of a controversial 2005 conversation with Donald Trump. NBC News suspended Bush on Oct. 9 "pending further review" of his role in the tape. Senior vice president Noah Oppenheim announced Bush's exit in an internal memo to staff Monday night. "I am deeply grateful for the conversations I've had with my daughters," Bush, 45, said in a statement released Monday, "and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues."
Access Hollywood's Natalie Morales—with whom Bush swapped jobs—appeared on Today Tuesday, as she maintains a contributor role. In a pre-taped segment, she interviewed Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso. Morales later joined her colleagues to discuss pop culture news.
Like Lauer and Hall before them, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb also addressed Bush's absence during the show's fourth hour. "Before we begin, we do want to mention what a lot of you probably already know," Kotb said. "Our good friend Billy Bush is no longer here at Today."
"He has been a joy for us," Gifford told viewers. "He was here about nine weeks. He was so much fun to be around. He was always up for anything—a real team player. We are really, really going to miss him. Our thoughts and prayers go to him and his family."
Kotb, who worked alongside Bush during the Rio Olympics, shared Gifford's sentiments. "I loved working with him when he filled in for Kath," she said. "We got a chance to see the Zac Brown Band and party it up and have some fun. And we just want Billy to know that we wish him nothing but the best."
Gifford and Kotb toasted their former colleague the only way they knew how: by toasting him with wine, of course. "He would like if we did this!" Gifford said, clinking her glass with Kotb's.
Bush has not announced what he plans to do next.
(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)