Who Cares? Dept.: David Gregory out at DOA ‘Meet the Press’

Who Cares? Dept.: David Gregory out at DOA ‘Meet the Press’

David Gregory, gone as host of NBC's
David Gregory, gone as host of NBC's "Meet the Press." (Screen shot from MTP)

WASHINGTON, August 14, 2014 – After treating its longtime “Meet the Press” host shabbily for at least the past several months, the always-classy NBC news organization suddenly announced his replacement Thursday. Gregory was barely able to beat the public announcement with a tweet of his own.

Gregory will be replaced by Chuck Todd, the NBC news organization’s current political director and a current fixture on its hard-left propaganda cable network MSNBC.

NBC News division chief Deborah Turns hastily shot the following email to staffers when the replacement buzz began to heat up Thursday:

Dear All,

I want to share some news about Meet the Press. After an exceptional 20 years with NBC News, David Gregory is leaving the network.


I want to express my sincerest thanks to David, who, after the death of Tim Russert, led Meet the Press for almost 6 years. Under his leadership the show has had a string of exclusives, and David has shown a remarkable gift for holding leaders to account and getting answers on issues that matter to our audience. He is an outstanding journalist whose sharp intellect and quick sense of humor have made him a pleasure to work with. I know you all join me in expressing our deepest gratitude and in wishing him the very best.


I am very pleased to announce that Chuck Todd will take the helm on September 7. There is no one with a bigger passion for politics than Chuck. His unique ability to deliver that passion with razor sharp analysis and infectious enthusiasm makes him the perfect next generation moderator of this beloved broadcast. Chuck will ensure that Meet the Press is the beating heart of politics, the place where newsmakers come to make news, where the agenda is set. We have some exciting plans to evolve and update the broadcast under Chuck’s leadership that we will be sharing with you shortly.


Chuck will continue as NBC News political director, and will hand over his roles as chief White House correspondent and anchor of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown.


Andrea Mitchell will serve as moderator of Meet the Press this weekend, and will continue to be a central figure of the broadcast, along with some new names that we will announce in the coming days.


For nearly seventy years, Americans have turned to Meet the Press on Sunday mornings for unrivaled insights on the news stories, political battles and public affairs debates dominating the national discussion. The next-generation Meet the Press, led by Chuck Todd, is certain to be the must-watch political destination on Sundays and beyond.



“Razor sharp analysis.” That’s a good one.

Deadline Hollywood reports the event with considerably greater believability:

After getting nicked by various TV News pundits and participants, for keeping Meet the Press host David Gregory hanging all these months as to his future with the struggling program, NBC News had rushed to conclusion this morning, in hopes of naming Chuck Todd new MTP host before the Sunday franchise’s next broadcast. Gregory has hosted the once-dominant Sunday program for six years.


Pressure on NBC News had been mounting to stop its “lousy” treatment of Gregory, as described by Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Fox News’s Howard Kurtz all-things-media show MediaBuzz last Sunday. In increasingly tepid statements, NBC News had tried in vain to stem the flow of reports Gregory was on his way out the door. News sources began this morning to confirm an imminent announcement, after CNN posted the new timeline on its website.

In late 2008, Gregory was appointed by NBC news to take over the MTP chair from the late Tim Russert who had died suddenly that summer and who was temporarily replaced by the aging Tom Brokaw until a permanent replacement could be found.

Chuck Todd.
David Gregory’s replacement Chuck Todd, seen here addressing journalists at a 2006 White House meeting. (Official White House photo)

Russert was highly respected on the Capital Beltway circuit—no surprise, as his liberal credentials were always impeccable. Yet he kept the guest and topic list interesting, and proved more balanced than most. Gregory had his moments, but the show began to slip under his own watch.

Oddly enough, Gregory could get pointed in his own questioning. But the guest list began to grow stale and predictable and guests from the right became few and far in between as the program joined the predictable, partisan post-2008 election slide that has characterized most of the media during this century.

As MTP ratings bottomed, NBC news more or less openly blamed the host rather than their own lack of objectivity for the ratings slide, and their desire to replace Gregory began to become increasingly obvious by the Fall of 2012. Today’s belated announcement was essentially a non-event.

Gregory is out not soon but immediately. As noted in the NBC email above, he’ll be replaced this weekend by Andrea Mitchell before Chuck Todd takes over the chair the following week.

Not surprisingly, Gregory is leaving the network. It will be interesting to see where he ends up.

In the end, it’s all a tempest in a teapot anyway. While Gregory’s MTP had sunk to the bottom of the ratings and stayed there, even the winners aren’t exactly attracting eyeballs these days.

Again, Deadline Hollywood

Moments after word began to leak that David Gregory would be removed as host before the show’s next broadcast, ABC News issued ratings for last week’s broadcasts of the Sunday Beltway, noting its This Week with George Stephanopoulos ranked No. 1 in the news demo, making it 9 of the past 11 weeks This Week held the top spot.  The ABC program outstripped Meet the Press by 204,000 total viewers and by 82,000 demo viewers last Sunday and now has beat NBC’s show the past seven Sundays in overall crowd, and six of the past seven broadcasts in the news demo.”

In other words, almost no one is watching these Sunday morning political shows any more, as opposed to a couple of decades ago when avid newsaholics regularly watched to get the latest national and international news and commentary from respected experts. Today, predictably, they only get one side and have gradually tuned the propaganda out.

Of Chuck Todd, RedState’s Erick Erickson offered some interesting observations on Todd’s skill sets back in 2012:

I got a great laugh out of this Chuck Todd near meltdown on Meet the Depressed the other day. His voice quivered in moral outrage over Jack Welch suggesting something was up with the unemployment numbers last Friday. Chuck Todd proclaimed, “What we’re doing, we’re corroding trust in our government in a way, and one time responsible people are doing to control it. And the idea that Donald Trump and Jack Welch, rich people with crazy conspiracy, can get traction on this, is a bad trend.”


He really does not get it. Chuck Todd reflects most of the media not getting it. As ratings decline, newspaper fold, and they all scream about how biased Fox News is, they do not get it.


When Chuck Todd laments the corrosion of “trust in government,” what he is really lamenting is that the American people have caught on to the way the game is played and the public now realizes just how complicit the media is. Compounding that, the public largely now realizes just how in bed — sometimes literally — the press is with members of the Obama Administration. There is a revolving door between liberal organizations and the mainstream press. For every one Republican who may become an “objective” member of the press, there are many more Democrats who do the same. Further, for all the Republicans who do it, there are many more liberal than conservative Republicans who do it.


The press is full of herd mentality, groupthink, and incestuous relationship with power and politics. The press also lacks a lot of self-reflection and accountability. What self-reflection is done is often subsequently ignored.


What Chuck Todd lamented, with his voice quivering, is that the media has failed. They are no longer reporters and watch dogs. They are regurgitators and lap dogs and fewer and fewer Americans believe them. He can be outraged at supposed crazy conspiracies, but it is the actions of the American political press and their relationships within the corridors of Washington that made it possible.


No one trusts the media and that is the media’s own fault. No one trusts government any more and the media is complicit in that by failing to be the objective press it pretends to be.

Clearly now, with the changing of the guard at MTP, NBC will be offering us more of the same left-wing political pap only worse. After an initial up-blip of curiosity, viewers will continue to tune the propaganda out. The greatest days of Meet the Press are now just a distant memory.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17