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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Whatever happened to… Bill Tush?

Bill Tush hasn’t had a regular gig in six years since he left CNN. But he’s still hungry.

Back in the 1970s and ’80s, Bill Tush was a big-time local TV personality, thanks to a man called Ted Turner. Turner had purchased a small local TV station an Tush became the face of it. He became “Ted’s guy.” First called, WTCG, it eventually became WTBS. And with the expanding medium called cable, Turner turned it into the first national “Superstation.”

There, Tush was the movie host and did a goofy late-night news show on TBS for five years. He got to do all sorts of ridiculous stunts, including sharing the newsdesk with Rex the Wonder Dog and mocking the news well before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

He had his own sketch comedy show for a year in 1980 before joining CNN hosting “People Now,” then “Showbiz Today” and “Showbiz This Week.” For years, he did celebrity interviews and covered the Oscars. He left CNN in 2003. “After 9/11, there was no entertainment news,” he said. “I was coming to work every day doing nothing.”

Tush said he wanted to leave and asked CNN to make it clear it was voluntary. But he said he was lumped together with others who were let go. “I was disappointed the way CNN handled it,” he said. None of the top CNN execs called him, but he did get a call from Ted. “He asked me why I was leaving. We talked, His exact words was, ‘I’m out, too.’ ”

“I actually see Ted more than when I worked for him,” he said. “He’s gotten very mellow.”

For several years, he has struggled to find a new full-time gig. He still emcees events, including Turner’s 70th birthday last November, the Southeastern Emmy’s this past June and a Jeff Foxworhty charity concert in McDonough in April. “I’m Mr. Emcee,” he said.

On top of that, “I’ve been doing different auditions for things. I’ve done voiceovers.” He has a production company and is pitching shows. He does radio interviews to talk about movies. He shows up on a local Honda dealership commercial or two.

“I’m a hard person to place,” Tush said. “I was never a serious news person. I did 20 years of entertainment news on CNN. Before that, I was a comic.”

At the Southeastern Emmys, he jokingly showed a video of what he was doing now. Up on the screen was Tush waiting tables at Ted’s Montana Grill. “I’d say,” he told the customers, “try the wings!”

He now lives in McDonough and still misses the action. “I was under this security blanket,” he said. “Then, bang! I’m in reality. Thirty years and I realized it’s not like it used to be.”

Here was a retrospective on Bill Tush done by CNN from 1999:

8 comments Add your comment

Bob V

August 31st, 2009
8:46 pm

I wish I could get videos of the Tush show!

Terrible Truth

August 31st, 2009
9:45 pm

Loved it in the middle of the night when everything else went off the air. And whatever happened to Tina Seldin?

YoungerThan ThatNow

September 1st, 2009
5:26 am

I’ll never forget Tush doing all the wacky commercials that supported TBS, then WTCG. They all had different numbers to call to order and then they standardized that into them all calling the same number. To promote the new number they had Tush as a drill seargant, marching with soldiers and in candence calling… 1…800…323…12…34! I guess it was a stupid act to promote that new number, but I guess it worked because as you can see, I can still even remember the number.

MrTVAMFM

September 1st, 2009
9:52 am

Tina Seldin … is alive and well … in North Carolina. Tina Seldin Cash hosts the North Carolina Education Lottery drawing many nights of the week at 11:22 p.m. She worked at WRAL-TV in Ralegh for many years. And on a personal note, I still consider her an attractive woman. I always did when she was on “Early in the Morning.”

Johnson

September 1st, 2009
4:39 pm

Ya, these were the good old days. They don’t have shows anymore like they used to, right guys? I remember late at night when nothing else was on, relaxing watching Bill Tush, and then we’d all go have sex with our horses! I’m with you guys.

Mitch

September 1st, 2009
7:48 pm

Just think of how far we’ve come since this show! We’re actually a state now and maybe in another couple decades we’ll actually be on the map! I love Atlanta!

M Anthony

September 3rd, 2009
7:36 am

I watched Bill’s show when I first moved to Atlanta. I liked the show and myself and then girlfriend now wife of many years had lots of laughs.

Vinnie

March 1st, 2010
2:12 pm

There are lots of Tush things on YouTube. Tina Seldin is still a babe! GRROWLL!