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October 4, 2015

NBC to go with Gregory for Meet The Press?

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 2nd 2008 1:18PM
David GregoryShortly after Tim Russert's death in June, I speculated on who NBC might pick to host Meet The Press. At the time, I figured that David Gregory was the best choice, given his pedigree as White House correspondent and the decent job he did subbing for Russert in the past. But over the summer and the heat of the election homestretch, I came to change my mind about that.

I saw Chuck Todd and His Goatee take a bigger and bigger role in the coverage, stepping into Russert's nightly role of presenting and analyzing the latest blizzard of polls to come out, and I thought he'd make an interesting choice for moderator. Then Tina Brown floated the idea of Rachel Maddow as moderator, and I was also intrigued, given her rise to punditry stardom and her surprising even-handed manner.

But, if a report from the Huffington Post is to be believed, Gregory will soon be named the moderator of the program. Which is too bad, because this gave NBC an opportunity to do something different.

Todd comes from a similar background as Russert: a political junkie who was hired by NBC in a non-broadcast role and came to prominence just by sheer will of his personality. He would have had a bit of a rough beginning, but would have been given plenty of room to grow on the job. Maddow, on the other hand, has proven in the short time she's hosted her MSNBC show that she can ask tough questions in a non-confrontational manner. Seeing her cajole politicians and other newsmakers into giving non-standard answers would be a refreshing departure from the "gotcha" interview style that Russert perfected over the years. Perhaps the two of them could have been paired in an "NBC News Stars of the Future" two-headed moderator arrangement.

Gregory, on the other hand, will just continue to do what's been done in the past, but without the adeptness and "Buffalo blue-collar guy" glimmer in his eye that Russert had. I can see him being confrontational for confrontational's sake, and that's not going to work very well on the Sunday morning shows.

Anyway, NBC and Gregory's reps are denying that he's the winner of the MTP sweepstakes, but, with only a week left in Tom Brokaw's interim period as moderator (he'll interview Barack Obama on his last show on Dec. 7), I'd imagine that's all just for show. As usual, NBC makes the solid if unspectacular choice. But, as with Brian Williams taking over for Brokaw and Meredith Vieira taking over for Katie Couric, they've ensured themselves an almost seamless transition. So they've got that going for them, which is nice.

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I have shared my thoughts about David Gregory on the previous related posts, and now that it is official, like 0megapart!cle & Dave said above, MTP is boring and will only get worse with Gregory at the helm. If I was George Stephanopoulos, I would be breaking out the Cristal and celebrating that I will now be the most exiting person to watch on Sunday morning. Down with NBC/MS-DNC, Tim Russert is rolling in his grave.

December 03 2008 at 1:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When David Gregory got his 6 PM 'Road to the White House' gig earlier this year at MSNBC, I was really looking forward to it. However, I found him to be flat in the anchor role and have rarely watched it since.

However, I did watch it tonight and knowing that he will now have the MTP chair, I could see him growing into that role and doing really well.

No one will ever match Tim Russert. It's a tough job to 'replace' Tim. Hopefully Gregory will make the show his own, and I'm sure NBC will give him the chance to do it.

December 02 2008 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think hands down Tavis Smiley would be the best host. Smart, direct, prepared and speaks to his audience like we have a brain. No one could replace Russert but Tavis would come close.

December 02 2008 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If there's one thing NBC does well it's make boring choices. I'm sure ABC and CBS are thrilled at the idea of Gregory considering their Sunday news programs have been steadily encroaching on Meet the Press since Russert passed away.

December 02 2008 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What an uninspired choice. Gregory's method is all staged, and doesn't have the wherewithal to turn an interview direction on a dime to zero on the real news when it presents itself.

I agree that Maddow can think on her feet, and she's shown she can go after liberal politicians when needed. I think she can rein in her bias to just get the nitty gritty news that we all need.

December 02 2008 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well that sucks. Gregory is moron. He hasn't offered an original or interesting take or asked a worthwhile question in two freakin' years.

December 02 2008 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tom Brokaw sure turned Sunday Morning into a snoozefest.

December 02 2008 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joey Geraci

David Gregory is a joke. Todd is less of a joke, and is occasionally insightful. Gregory wouldn't know insightful if it bit him in the ass. Maddow is just delightful, but her lack of experience and obvious partisan bias would have been a problem.

Looks like my newfound habit of not watching MTP (other than next week with Obama) since Russert left us is going to continue unabated.

December 02 2008 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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