The David Gregory is going to be dumped from Meet The Press rumor mill is rolling again with a report that the host might be out after November’s midterm elections.
The Rupert Murdoch owned New York Post is speculating/reporting:
Viewership is down a whopping 43 percent compared to when Gregory ascended to the moderator’s chair in December 2008, after the death of Tim Russert. The show finished in third place behind CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week” in the second quarter of 2014.
An NBC source said, “The discussion is whether to make a change before or after the midterm elections. Just after the midterms would give the new moderator time to settle in.”
According to insiders, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd is the rightful heir to Gregory, but he has not been officially offered the job.
Other names said to be in the frame include “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie, who comes from a political background but is unlikely to be released from the flagship morning show where she’s hugely popular. Guthrie is also due to give birth to her first child next month and will return to “Today” after maternity leave.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have also been said to be angling for a Sunday slot, but NBC insiders said there are concerns about putting a partisan host in charge of “Meet the Press,” as Scarborough is a former Republican congressman.
It has been reported by mainstream outlets like The Washington Post that David Gregory is on thin ice. The constant reports that NBC News is thinking about making a change on Meet The Press are becoming a where there’s smoke, there’s fire situation. The one fact in the NY Post report is that ratings have plummeted since Gregory took over for Tim Russert.
Judging from all of the media reports, it seems that NBC will only look in house if they get rid of David Gregory. This would be a huge mistake. A Chuck Todd or Morning Joe led Meet The Press won’t be any better than Gregory’s version of the show. I have long suggested that Rachel Maddow be given the job, but she is apparently viewed as too partisan (read: too liberal and too not a heterosexual white male) to anchor a Sunday morning show.
The problems at Meet The Press go beyond David Gregory. The show itself, much like the rest of Sunday morning political talk, is dominated by Republicans. The faces on the Sunday shows don’t match the changing face of the country. The Sunday shows tend to be dominated mostly by older white men while the country is getting younger, browner, and more female. The Sunday shows are out of step with leftward direction of the nation.
Meet The Press would be best served if NBC News dumped Gregory, and looked outside of the NBC family for his replacement. If they have to stay in house and refuse to hire Maddow, Chris Hayes, who ironically enough, is killing MSNBC’s primetime ratings would be an excellent host for Meet The Press. Hayes’s style has been a painful fit on cable news primetime, but he would make an excellent Sunday morning host. Hayes was excellent as the host of MSNBC’s Up, and he is capable of interviewing both Republicans and Democrats.
NBC News dismissed the Post report in a statement, “We heard the same false rumors and suggest you take them with a grain of salt, as we did,” but if the ratings don’t improve, David Gregory will be out sooner or later.
Will MSNBC try to force another Beltway babbler of conventional wisdom down (Chuck Todd) viewers’ throats, or will they finally give the viewers the quality that they expect out of Meet The Press?
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association