After getting nicked by various TV News pundits and participants for keeping Meet the Press host David Gregory hanging, as to his future with the struggling program, NBC News rushed to conclusion this morning, in hopes of naming Chuck Todd new MTP host before the Sunday franchise’s next broadcast, replacing Gregory who’s 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. No matter how many memos from NBC News President Deborah Turness asserting her confidence in David Gregory got leaked to the media, the network news operation could stop months of reports that he was on his way out the door. News sources began confirming the development this morning, after CNN posted the new timeline on its website.
Todd, NBC News’ chief White House correspondent, political director and host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, had been the frontrunner in this ongoing story, with one notable break when Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski seemed to be the prettiest dress in the store, though some outlets noted back then that Todd had lost weight to prep for the gig.
NBC News reps could not be reached for comment.
Moments after word began to leak that David Gregory would be removed as host before the show’s next broadcast, ABC News happily put out another Sunday Beltway show ratings report, noting that last Sunday 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.
Reports of Gregory’s exit have been circulating for months — he is, after all, trailing his broadcast competitors years into his tenure, having been given the tough job of replacing Tim Russert, who’d reigned as the king of Sunday Beltway TV for years. Russert died at the studio in the summer of ’08. Tom Brokaw took over for Russert and anchored through that presidential-election cycle; Gregory was named to the job that December. But it was officially declared open season on Gregory this past April, when The Washington Post reported NBC News had enlisted the help of a psychological consultant to figure out why the host wasn’t clicking with viewers. In a memo to her staff, Turness dismissed the Post story as “quite ludicrous,” “vindictive” and “untrue, ” adding that NBC News “is proud to have David in the important anchor chair of Meet The Press.”
Nevertheless, a frenzy of “NBC Hires Psychologist to Evaluate David Gregory,” and “NBC Thinks David Gregory Requires Psychiatric Help” media reports ensued.