With viewership down an incredible 43% and “Meet the Press” consistently landing in third place, Page Six reports that the show’s host, David Gregory, will be replaced after the upcoming midterm elections in November.
While NBC News President Deborah Turness has publicly supported the embattled Gregory, there are serious concerns about the losing battle to turn around the show’s sinking ratings.
Viewership is down a whopping 43 percent compared to when Gregory ascended to the moderator’s chair in December 2008, after the death of Tim Russert. The show finished in third place behind CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week” in the second quarter of 2014.
An NBC source said, “The discussion is whether to make a change before or after the midterm elections. Just after the midterms would give the new moderator time to settle in.”
Most of the replacement talk is centered on Chuck Todd, NBC’s current political director and chief White House correspondent. Todd is certainly smarter, more personable and likable than Gregory (a low bar to be sure), but he can be just as partisan and out of touch when it comes to protecting Obama and protecting anything that increases the power the federal government at the expense of individual liberty.
And for all of Gregory’s faults, and there is no shortage of them, he has never gone the Full-Nixon to defend the IRS persecuting everyday Americans on behalf of President Obama.
If “Meet the Press” is going to return to the lofty heights enjoyed under Tim Russert’s now-iconic stewardship (a man who never lost touch with the real world and was widely respected by both Democrats and Republicans) NBC News needs to think outside the box.
Todd could surprise us in that role and rise to the occasion. But the all-important first impression is that the New Boss is going to look an awful lot like the Old Boss.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC