With Meet The Press pulling historically low ratings, reports are surfacing that NBC News is considering dumping host David Gregory and changing the format of the Sunday staple.
The New York Post (Murdoch owned) reported,
NBC News boss Deborah Turness is spending the last few days of the year eyeing cuts — moves that could include axing some senior on-air talent, The Post has learned.
Turness, brought on in August to shake up the moribund news division — where “Meet the Press” and “Today” had stumbled — is in the midst of a host of end-of -year buyouts and cost reductions, sources said.
Particularly distressed by the changes is the DC bureau team, whose duties include providing political coverage to “Nightly News with Brian Williams” and Sunday talk show “Meet The Press.”
Turness has been trying to figure out the future for David Gregory’s “Meet the Press,” with options including bringing in MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for a Sunday show, or blowing up the entire franchise and trying something completely different, sources familiar with the situation said.
If NBC News wants to fix both Meet The Press and Today, they can do so with two moves. Fire David Gregory from Meet The Press. Get Matt Lauer off of Today. The ratings problems for both shows can be tied back to the fact that viewers don’t like the high paid on screen talent that each show is built around.
Gregory has pushed viewers away from Meet The Press with a disinterested approach to the show, and an endless habit of regurgitating Republican talking points as fact. Meet The Press has been transformed from the show where newsmakers expected to be challenged to a dull, lazy, and enraging hourlong informercial for Republican talking points and Beltway conventional thinking. David Gregory has been the exact opposite of the late Tim Russert, and the result is that millions of viewers have tuned out.
The worst thing that NBC News could do would be to replace the intolerable Gregory with the nausea inducing Joe Scarborough, and his band of Beltway lackeys. If Joe and Mika were to take over Meet The Press, the program that was once most important public affairs show on television would cease to exist.
The answer for Meet The Press is simple. Hire a dogged journalist who isn’t afraid to ask tough questions to the nation’s political leaders. In my opinion, Rachel Maddow was born to moderate Meet The Press. Maddow is smart, tough, and fair. She would restore the integrity that David Gregory has sucked from the show.
However, NBC and MSNBC have become the textbook example of consistently repetitive bad decisionmaking. If they dump Gregory, you can bet that Joe and Mika will be occupying Sunday mornings.
The good news is that David Gregory might be gone. The bad news is that he could be replaced by Joe Scarborough.