NBC Tried To Hire Jon Stewart To Replace David Gregory As Host Of Meet The Press

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jon stewart meet the press

It looks like NBC never wanted Chuck Todd to replace David Gregory as the host of Meet The Press. It is being reported that the real host that NBC wanted was Jon Stewart.

According to New York Magazine:

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Before choosing Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks. One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually “anything” to bring him over. “They were ready to back the Brink’s truck up,” the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart’s agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

It makes sense that NBC would make a run at Stewart. The comedian-cum-media-critic possesses something that broadcast executives covet: a loyal, young audience. And it’s not the first time NBC tried recruiting him. According to sources, NBC Entertainment courted Stewart several years ago for a 10 p.m. variety show (the slot ultimately went to Jay Leno). This April, CBS announced Stewart’s Comedy Central colleague Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman next year.

Jon Stewart turned down NBC’s offer to host Meet The Press. The Daily Show host would have been insane to accept the offer. Stewart’s interview with President Obama during the 2012 election is widely regarded as the best candidate interview of that year, but Meet The Press is a total disaster right now.

If NBC could have hired Jon Stewart for Meet The Press, it would have been a genre changing move. Stewart could have reinvented the stale Sunday show format. The comedy would have been minimized, but the insightful media criticism would have been something that has never been seen on the corporate bankrolled Sunday shows.

There is one obvious reason Stewart was correct to turn down the offer. The difference between 11:30 on weeknights and Sunday mornings is huge. There is no guarantee that Stewart’s viewers would have followed him to NBC. Getting his younger viewership into the habit of turning on the Sunday shows that they shun in droves would have been a tall order.

Stewart would have been great for Meet The Press, but Meet The Press might not have been so good for Jon Stewart. Stewart is probably best off doing his thing on Comedy Central. Meet The Press is still an abyss of failure under Chuck Todd. It might be beyond even Jon Stewart’s abilities to save Meet The Press.

21 Replies to “NBC Tried To Hire Jon Stewart To Replace David Gregory As Host Of Meet The Press”

  1. Why would Jon Stewart want to take a step backwards in his career? Doing so essentially end his career as a comedian. I think Jon Stewart made the right decision.

  2. Stewart might have made the right decision for him but America lost. And you wonder why we are stuck on stupid

  3. Meh…not so sure. In the past year or so, he seems tired, stale, “I-got-nothin'”.

    Stephen Colbert is going to make the leap to late night in the near future…

    Stewart is probably getting tired of not getting taken seriously; his movie signals one of his first attempts to be taken as “serious”.

    If he had taken the offer, Stewart could have been a national game-changer on a completely different level. He would become more of a lightening rod than in his current “incarnation”. The old guard would have to “stand back” and watch a real pro do his job.

    I think he should have taken it.

  4. I totally agree Stewart refusing to take the gig is bad for America, but on the same token I will not begrudge him doing what he feels is best for himself. Maybe after Todd has bombed so bad that MTP has to get rid of him maybe Stewart will reconsider.

  5. Were Stewart a man of genuine character he would have accepted MTP, a position that would have afforded him an opportunity to make a difference. From this point forward I shall regard him as just another useless entertainer.

  6. Did NBC think that a huge pile of money would convert Stewart to the “right way of seeing things”?

  7. John Stewart is a comedian? Funny? I thought he was a darn good reporter…meh, what do I know ;)

  8. I have always thought Chuck Todd was the wrong choice. It should have been Rachel Maddow. They will ultimately have to move on from Todd sooner than later. Maddow is the smarter of the two.

    Stewart would not tackle that mess but Maddow would. It is not too late NBC.

  9. You have a very valid point Shiva. The right wing cry babies would be screaming for Stewart’s head after the first episode because he would hold ALL politicians accountable. RWNJs don’t like accountability.

  10. Rachel Maddow as host would have definitely meant a change in the cast of recurring “panelists” that appear on Sundays. No more John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Jim DeMint, Haley Barbour… they wouldn’t have the balls to face Rachel. I suspect that’s why they didn’t offer it to her. They have no clue that they would get better discussion and better viewership if it weren’t the same talking head/warmongers every single week.

  11. The only way that it would have made sense for Jon Stewart to take MTP is if he could have taken in in addition to The Daily Show. If not, then there’s no reason for him to move backwards in his career.

  12. I’m definately not in Jon Stewart’s demographic, but:

    “Nothing you could say could tear me away from my guy.”

  13. Speaking of Rachel, did you notice Chuck Todd has been making appearances on her show lately. I wonder if it is an NBC decision, not Rachel’s to build up Todd’s creds with progressives? If it is, I don’t see it working so long as MTP is filled with neocons every week sprinkled with a dash of drowned out liberal.

  14. I think the offer to Stewart probably came with restrictions on how much he could challenge/fact check his guests on the show. I wouldn’t take the job if my hands were tied and that may have been one of the reasons he declined as well as losing the young (sleeping at that time on Sundays or better things to do) crowd.

  15. You don’t think he’s making an impact now? If Jon Stewart shows up on Meet the Press, he dies. I actually don’t completely believe NBC offered him the job, maybe except as a joke. Does anybody really think he would be able to express the kinds of opinions on MTP that he does on TDS? I certainly don’t.

  16. Jon could never take orders from NBC. MTP is a Republican talking points show and is run by corporate media. Brian Williams was on Jon’s show and said that Jon was the “real” news.

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