IT’S THE Sunday political show that’s unwatchable. Meet the Press is a long way from where it was when Tim Russert was at the helm. Even if you didn’t care for Russert’s style, which I did not, it was a show that demanded attention. David Gregory has had a miserable run and there have been rumors for months he’s on the way out, even as NBC News denies it. Mike Allen lobs a big water balloon Gregory’s way this morning, though he also reports “nothing is definite or decided.”
The item leads Allen’s Playbook today.
SIREN: Chuck Todd, a political obsessive and rabid sports fan, is the likely successor to David Gregory as moderator of “Meet the Press,” with the change expected to be announced in coming weeks, according to top political sources. The move is an effort by NBC News President Deborah Turness to restore passion and insider cred to a network treasure that has been adrift since the death in 2008 of the irreplaceable Tim Russert. Although Todd is not a classic television performer guaranteed to wow focus groups, his NBC bosses have been impressed by his love of the game, which brings with it authenticity, sources, and a loyal following among newsmakers and political junkies.
Gregory’s next move is unknown, but he’s unlikely to remain at the network – a stunning turn for a quick-rising star with a broadcasting polish and on-air versatility that once made him a natural candidate to be a future “Today” show host. It’s unclear whether Gregory or Todd knows about the big move, likely to be in place before year’s end.
David Gregory began with a good reputation and smart reporting, but I long stopped watching him on Sunday.
If Chuck Todd took the help of Meet the Press it would once again be must see Sunday TV. Besides being fearless, Todd also has been fairest among the network establishment when it comes to politicians and shakers outside the big two political parties, including independents. That he can move from politics to sports as easily as Russert illustrates what’s required from an anchor in the age of social media. Dexterity that shows he’s just like his viewers at times, a fan of culture and things beyond Washington politics, which has been on display through Todd’s Saturday XM radio show.