Willie Geist Quits 'Today' 's Third Hour: 'I Pass the Hat to a Guy with Another Big Head – Billy Bush'

The veteran NBC journalist will continue his on-camera duties for the network's Sunday Today and Morning Joe

Photo: Neilson Barnard/WireImage

Willie Geist is saying goodbye to the Today show’s third hour.

“As you all know and a lot of our viewers know, I’ve been wearing a lot of hats lately,” Geist said on Monday’s Today show. “I’ve been doing the Sunday show, I’ve been doing our third hour of the Today show with Al and Tamron, I do Morning Joe every day. There’s a lot going on.”

Sitting beside his fellow NBC colleagues – Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Billy Bush and Tamron Hall – on the morning show couch, the journalist revealed that he would be relinquishing one of his hosting duties.

“So I got to take one of the hats off. I’ve got too many. I’ve got a big head – everybody knows that – but not big enough for all those hats,” he stated.

“So I’m going to step away from the third hour of the Today show. It’s hard to do that because of the love that I have for you guys,” he said as he took Roker’s hand, and added, “Because of the love that I have for all of our producers, for all of our viewers – you’ve been so good to all of us.”

The veteran NBC journalist then revealed to viewers that Billy Bush will be taking his position on the third hour.

“But, I pass the hat to a guy with another big head – Billy Bush,” he said as he took off an imaginary hat and handed it in Bush’s direction. “The hat is yours.”

For viewers worried that they won’t get to see Geist on the NBC morning program, Guthrie assured them he would continue to be a familiar face. “By the way, we’re still going to see you all the time.”

“I’ll be here with you probably tomorrow morning sitting right here working with you here on the early hours of the Today show, and Sunday Today and Morning Joe and everything else I do,” Geist said.

After making the announcement, Geist paid compliment to Bush.

“Billy Bush is a good and an old friend and a great guy and we already feel like he’s part of the family,” Geist said. “The show is in great hands.”

“By the way, we’ve just spent two-and-a-half weeks in Rio with this guy and we survived,” Lauer added of traveling to Brazil with Bush for coverage of the Rio Olympics.

“And by the way, barely,” Bush quipped.

“Thank you for the love & for watching every day,” Geist later tweeted. “I’ll still be on your @NBC & @MSNBC TV in obnoxiously big doses. See you tomorrow.”

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