John Reiss is moving from his role as executive producer of Meet the Press to NBC News Now’s seasonal, single-topic show Meet the Press Reports, and he will be succeeded at the Sunday broadcast by David P. Gelles, who is returning to the network after nearly a decade at CNN.
Reiss has been EP of Meet the Press for the past eight years, and will shift to the streaming series that he and Chuck Todd, the moderator of Meet the Press and NBC News political director, launched in 2020. The series will enter its fifth season this fall, with each season running six to eight episodes.
Gelles, who joins the network on Sept. 1, most recently worked for CNN+, where he led the creation of four shows, Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace, The Newscast with Wolf Blitzer, The Source with Kasie Hunt, and Jake Tapper’s Book Club.
Gelles previously was a producer for NBC News’ Today from 2006 to 2011 and later a producer on Brian Williams’ Rock Center from 2011 to 2013 before joining CNN. He was a senior broadcast producer for The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and from 2016 to 2021 was EP of CNN’s political and special events programming. That included live coverage of the 2020 electoral college certification, the second Trump impeachment, and the Derek Chauvin verdict, as well as coverage surrounding debates, town halls and the presidential inauguration. He will work with Todd and Carrie Budoff Brown, NBC News senior vice president for Meet the Press, and also will work with Reiss and Melissa Frankel, executive producer of the daily streaming show Meet the Press Now.
During Reiss’ tenure, Meet the Press expanded its brand with the debut of MSNBC’s weekday Meet the Press Daily, which moved to NBC News Now earlier this year as the retitled Meet the Press Now. In addition to Meet the Press Reports, the show also has launched a podcast and film festival. In his new role, Reiss also will work on audience growth for Meet the Press Reports and new Meet the Press audio projects.
Reiss previously served as executive producer of NBC Nightly News, executive producer of Hardball with Chris Matthews and oversaw political programming and election coverage on MSNBC. He also served as a producer and senior producer at Dateline NBC.
In a statement, Todd said, “In three decades covering politics, it’s hard to pick a more turbulent period than the last eight years. So all I can say is, thank goodness we had John Reiss. I can’t imagine a steadier partner to have had on Sundays during this tumultuous period of politics. John’s sixth sense for what makes a good news broadcast, and an unflappable devotion he has to good storytelling, have kept us a step ahead of our peers for six years now. John is a producer’s producer and a storyteller at heart, I can’t wait to see where he takes Meet the Press Reports.”
Todd said that Gelles “intuitively understands the core of what we do at Meet the Press, which is not to simply put on a good show every Sunday. It’s to put on a show that gets to the crux of our political reality and unpacks its relevance on our viewers’ lives in a way that nobody else can. It’s a vision we all share here and I’m excited to have David at the helm of the Sunday broadcast as we enter a consequential midterm season and beyond.”
Budoff Brown’s memo to staffers is below:
As John takes the reins of Meet the Press Reports, it is my pleasure to introduce – or reintroduce, for some of you – David P. Gelles as the next executive producer of Meet the Press. He will step into the role beginning next Thursday, Sept. 1.
Many of you may know David from his time at NBC News, including the TODAY and Rock Center teams before joining CNN in 2013. For those that don’t, he is in many ways a quintessential fit for MTP. Not only does he bring considerable political expertise — he has overseen all of CNN’s political and special events programming since 2016 — but he also has a flair for the entrepreneurial, taking the lead on the creation and development of four marquee shows on CNN+. This mix of Washington savvy and dedication to finding unique ways to reach new audiences is why I know he’ll be a terrific next partner for Chuck and leader for the Sunday team on the road ahead.
As I shared on the call, John’s new role is a big step for us as a brand and I take it as an encouraging show of support from leadership that we’re able to dedicate a singular leader to Meet the Press Reports. I know how hard the whole team has worked to make the show a reality, and it’s my hope that this new structure will begin to ease some of the very real constraints around staffing and workload we’ve experienced in recent seasons.
John has led the Sunday team with passion, grace, and tremendous skill over the last eight years and he would leave big shoes to fill no matter the role — so I know I speak for the whole team when I say we look forward to his continued leadership on MTPR and our burgeoning audio efforts.
Please join me in congratulating David and welcoming him to the MTP family.
Reiss’ note to staff:
All I had planned to do was say hello.
Almost exactly eight years ago as I was walking down a hallway past a 30 Rock guest office, I realized, hey, there’s Chuck Todd. Go in and say hi. By the time I walked out, Chuck had asked if I might consider becoming the executive producer of Meet the Press. Um, yes, I’d consider that.
And thus began eight of the most productive, enjoyable and fulfilling years of my 28 spent at NBC News.
It’s now time for me to move on. For the past few months I’ve been talking with Noah, Carrie and Chuck about what my next role here should be, and I’m enormously grateful to be staying with the Meet the Press team, the place I’ve called home for so long – now as the executive producer for one of the many new platforms this team has created, Meet the Press Reports.
So, while I’m going, I’m not going very far. Noah and Carrie have made a commitment to MTPR, and I’ll be concentrating on growing and expanding that platform. I’ll also be working on some other projects that I hope will involve many of the people on the receiving end of this email.
Working for Meet the Press has been among the most rewarding experiences of my career, an eight-year teachable moment. The research conducted for this broadcast is a weekly miracle. The production values are unparalleled. And we have a moderator who always pushes us to do more, to do better, to do smarter. All of you have made it a privilege to call Meet the Press home.
I’ve also learned a few things in this job. I’ve learned that viewers pause their DVR’s to study five-color graphics that never should appear on TV in the first place and that there’s always time for sports talk while we’re looking at elements. I’ve also learned that as hard as it is to wake up at 3:15 on Sunday mornings, it’s an honor to be with this team an hour later and help produce the best Sunday morning public affairs broadcast in the business. Meet the Press isn’t the longest-running show in television history for nothing.
Finally, though I’m not going to thank every recipient of this email individually (I’ll do that in person), I do want to say I’m forever grateful to Chuck, my partner in this journey, for making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. It’s been an honor, my friend, and it’s been a privilege working with all of you. And the best part? The best part is there’s more to come.
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