Since taking over NBC’s Sunday morning political talk show, Meet The Press, David Gregory’s ratings have not been good. Despite poor ratings, Gregory has received full-throated support from network executives. In fact, it has been reported that NBC is “doubling down” on the anchor, not ready to fire him as the Washington rumor mill had suggested.
Gregory was awarded the Meet The Press anchor chair in 2008 upon the sudden death of previous host Tim Russert, but ratings for the once top-rated Sunday show have fallen to historic lows.
Meet The Press fell into third place in the last quarter of 2013, something that never happened with Russert in the chair.
Because of these bad ratings, Washington has been abuzz for some time with rumors of Gregory’s imminent demise as the show’s host. But NBC executives have disabused the rumor mill of that notion saying that they are “doubling down” on Gregory.
NBC executive Alex Wallace recently told Huffington Post that Gregory is here to stay.
“I cannot be more declarative about David–is our guy, is going to be our guy, and we are really happy with him,” Wallace said. “I know there continues to be lots of hubbub, but I’m in every single meeting: There is no internal hubbub.”
“We’re doubling down on David Gregory right now,” she said.
NBC is also investing heavily in Gregory as the man to front an expansion of Meet The Press on the Internet. “This whole digital brand is being built around his strengths,” Wallace said.
Gregory has already been doing web-only interviews and the network plans on expanding his web presence.
But unlike other TV hosts, such as Chuck Todd and Jake Tapper, Gregory seems reluctant to engage the public on the Internet. He won’t engage on Twitter, Facebook or other social media because he doesn’t want to deal with critics. Gregory is far more detached and distant than most other members of the media and this is something that makes him a quixotic choice to be expected to expand NBC’s Internet presence.
“I just made a decision,” Gregory said. “There are haters out there. I’m not going to engage those people, because they’re not looking to have a dialogue with me over Twitter.”
And there is quite a lot of criticism to be had–or ignored in Gregory’s case.
He recently garnered criticism when he blamed Glenn Greenwald for “aiding and abetting” domestic espionage with his work with Edward Snowden.
Gregory also sparked controversy when he essentially broke the law in Washington D.C. by brandishing a 30-round ammunition magazine on the air in his D.C. studios even though merely possessing such an ammunition device is illegal in the District.
The host has also often been quite biased in favor of the left and Obama in his role as host. In February, for instance, he revealed his bias when he complained that Obama didn’t get enough credit for “saving” the economy.
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