We will never know if allowing David Gregory to say so-long to viewers on Meet The Press would have goosed the show’s ratings last weekend – but we know for sure that last Sunday’s MTP, with Gregory gone, fell 2% in the demo ratings, week to week — and, in overall audience, grew 10%. The program finished third Sunday both in total viewers and in the news demo, behind CBS’ Face The Nation and ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos.
MTP clocked 735,000 demo viewers; and 2.661 million total viewers. This Week logged a leading 3.021 million viewers and 1.001 million demo viewers, and Face pulled in an average of 2.940 million viewers and 755,000 demo viewers. Fox News Sunday averaged 1.306 million viewers on Fox broadcast stations, and 401,000 demo viewers.
With escalating violence in Ferguson, MO dominating the news cycle, ABC’s Sunday Beltway show was up 15% in total viewers and 21% in the news demo, week to week. Bob Schieffer’s CBS show inched up 1% in overall audience but down 2% in the demo, and Fox News Sunday climbed 8% and 9% week-to-week, respectively. MTP’s 2.661 million viewers was its best overall haul in four months.
Gregory got kicked to the curb on Thursday, effective immediately, after two decades at the division, because his Sunday Beltway show was not doing as well in the ratings as competitors at ABC and CBS. The hustle out the door followed weeks of network news-division foot-dragging, while dismissing press reports that Gregory was on the outs as “ludicrous” and “insulting.” In a sudden burst of energy, minutes after Gregory tweeted that he was out, NBC News announced he would be replaced by Chuck Todd in September.
“As you may be aware, David Gregory’s final show as moderator of Meet The Press was last Sunday,” fill-in Mitchell announced near the close of Sunday’s broadcast. “Meet The Press makes a lot of history, and a great deal of it was with David at the helm since he started in December 2008…“In 20 years with NBC News, David has done it all — the OJ Simpson trial, Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, Today show guest-hosting and, when the cameras weren’t rolling, dead-on imitations of everyone from the President of the United States to Tom Brokaw,” she continued. “Through all the years, David has been true to the traditions of this program and NBC News,” she said of the man who had been bounced out the door three days earlier like an argumentative drunk.
“As David leaves NBC News for his next adventure, I will miss him as a daily colleague, but I know he will always be a friend,” she concluded, just to make sure viewers knew this wasn’t her idea.
(Simon & Schuster announced this morning Gregory is writing a book about his Jewish faith that’s set to drop in 2015. Gregory has been working on the book since 2011, reported Politico.)