Billy Bush exiting 'Access Hollywood' for NBC's 'Today'

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NBC is bringing one of its longtime stars onboard Today.

After months of speculation, Access Hollywood Live host Billy Bush is set to join the morning show, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

A formal announcement about Bush's new gig is expected to be made at NBC's annual upfront presentation May 16 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. THR first reported NBC's courtship of Bush in October, and the move is said to be an open secret on the Access set. Sources close to Bush say he recently began the process of relocating from Los Angeles to New York.

NBC News declined comment, but Bush is expected to play a key role in the venerable morning show's 9 a.m. hour. However, it's unclear if he'll be rotated in or will replace Willie Geist, who recently began hosting a revamped Sunday version of Today while still appearing on Today's 9 a.m. hour and MSNBC's Morning Joe. Tamron Hall, Natalie Morales and Al Roker are Geist's co-hosts at 9 a.m. The plan to unveil Bush's new Today gig at NBC's upfront may point to an upcoming splashy rebrand for that hour of the program, which competes in many markets with ABC's Live With Kelly and Michael (which, ironically, is itself going through a transition as co-host Michael Strahan exits for ABC's Good Morning America).

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Billy Bush exiting 'Access Hollywood' for NBC's 'Today'
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Jenna Bush Hager, Willie Geist and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Ryan Phillippe appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morales with the Harlem Globetrotters appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) Moderator Chuck Todd, left, and Willie Geist, 'Today Show' co-host, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Al Roker, Willie Geist and Jamie Oliver appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: (L-R) Al Roker, WillIe Geist, Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson, Natalie Morales Carson Daly and Robin Roberts during the TODAY Show at 30 Rockefeller Center on September 03, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/The PGA of America via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Olympic Mascot from the 2014 Olympics in Socci -- (Photo by: Joe Scarnici/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Usher and Tamron Hall appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02: Today Show hosts Willie Geist, Natalie Morales and Matt Lauer enjoy themselves when Counting Crows perform on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on September 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Vincent Piazza appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales and Usher appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Joshua Jackson appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Hoda Kotb, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, Phillip Phillips and Carson Daly appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Maria Celeste, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Dylan Dreyer, Carson Daly and Kate Snow appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker appear on the 'Today' show on Thursday, October 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: (L-R) Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist and Dylan Dreyer speak on stage during NBC's 'Today' at the NBC's TODAY Show on September 1, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: (L-R) Jesse Carmichael, Mickey Madden, Adam Levine, PJ Morton, James Valentine, Carson Daly and Willie Geist speak on stage during NBC's 'Today' at the NBC's TODAY Show on September 1, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- 08/20/2014 -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Al Roker, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Tamron Hall, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Willie Geist -- (Photo by: Michael Loccisano/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Matt Lauer, Dylan Dreyer and Craig Melvin appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Dylan Dryer and Carson Daly appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Dylan Dreyer and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Al Roker and Ryan Tedder appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Ian Ziering appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist and Tamron Hall appear on the 'Today' show on Thursday, October 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Savannah Guthrie and John Legend appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist and Samantha Guthrie host John Legend's performance on the NBC's TODAY Show on July 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Chance Yeh/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie, Bobbie Thomas, Willie Geist and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: Al Roker (L) and Willie Geist celebrate the launch of TODAY Show Radio at SiriusXM Studios on June 20, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 26: (L-R) Willie Geist, Austin Mahone and Natalie Morales attend on NBC's TODAY Show on May 26, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist and Dolly Parton appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Gina Neely, Pat Neely, Willie Geist and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Al Roker, Hoda Kotb, Willie Geist, Kathie Lee Gifford and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Willie Geist appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Mary Sue Milken, Susan Feniger and Tamron Hall appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist and Jeff Goldblum appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Al Roker -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathy Lee Gifford, Carson Daly, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Tamron Hall -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Al Roker from the 2014 Olympics in Socci -- (Photo by: Joe Scarnici/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Al Roker, Dr. Nancy Snyderman from the 2014 Olympics in Socci -- (Photo by: Joe Scarnici/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Kathie Lee Gifford and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker, Maia Shibutani, Alex Shibutani, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist from the 2014 Olympics in Socci -- (Photo by: Joe Scarnici/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Natalie Morales and Sarah Paulson appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie from the 2014 Olympics in Socci -- (Photo by: Joe Scarnici/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael White, Willie Geist and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Jenna Bush Hager, Willie Geist and Courtnay Smith appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Charlie Palmer, Brooke Shields and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tara Lipinski and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Willie Geist and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC News' Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Al Roker and actor Orlando Bloom appear on NBC News' 'Today' show on December 13, 2013 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Willie Geist and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Willie Geist appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Carson Daly as Officer Jon Baker, Erik Estrada, Al Roker as Mr. T, Kathie Lee Gifford as Wilma Flintstone, Hoda Kotb as Betty Rubble, Natalie Morales as Shirley Feeney, Savannah Guthrie as Laverne De Fazio, Matt Lauer as C.J., Carmen Electra and Willie Geist as David Hasselhoff's Mitchappear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie and Tamron Hall appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Jamie Oliver and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 21: Natalie Morales, Olivia Newton-John and Marlen Lanvin perform during Olivia Newton-John's residency 'Summer Nights' at the Flamingo Las Vegas on August 21, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Natalie Morales appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Jason Mraz -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Natalie Morales appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Al Roker and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Willie Geist, Hulk Hogan and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Natalie Morales from the 2014 Olympics in Socci -- (Photo by: Joe Scarnici/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
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READ MORE: Michael Strahan Will Exit 'Live!' on May 13

The flagship Today show is beating ABC's GMA in the critical 25-54 demographic this season. Though GMA remains the most-watched morning show, it has dropped double digits in critical demos. That's why ABC recently recruited Strahan for a full-time gig on the show beginning in September. But the 9 a.m. hour remains the weak link in the NBC franchise that also includes Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford's frothy 10 a.m. iteration.

Sources say Bush is expected to start in September. But NBC's coverage of the Rio Olympics, which begins Aug. 5, gives Today an enormous platform during which to showcase talent. The awkward anchor transition from Ann Curry to Savannah Guthrie was timed in part so Guthrie would be in place for the London Olympics in 2012. The changeover from Jay Leno to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show also was positioned to take advantage of the network's lift from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Bush, who was a correspondent for WNBC's Today in New York morning show early in his career, has been at Access Hollywood since 2001. He was bumped up to co-anchor in 2004 and then was named co-anchor with Kit Hoover of its spinoff, daytime show Access Hollywood Live, when it launched in 2010.

Access staffers already have begun to bid farewell to Bush, who will have to move to New York for Today.

As part of his longtime tenure at NBCUniversal Television Distribution, Bush also has served as a reporter for the network's Olympics coverage dating back to the 2004 Summer Games.

READ MORE: Savannah Guthrie to Join Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira in Hosting Rio Olympics Opening Ceremonies

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