‘Meet The Press’ Anchor David Gregory Fired By NBC: The Real Reason Why

NBC has fired David Gregory, the most recent host of its Sunday morning political talk show, Meet the Press, as a result of dismal ratings… and because a lot of people really don’t like David Gregory.

Currently, Meet the Press is third in the Sunday morning rankings behind Bob Schieffer’s Face the Nation on CBS and George Stephanopoulos’ This Week on ABC. Not so long ago, Meet the Press on NBC was a powerhouse, obliterating the competition as a tough news program that even many high-level politicians feared appearing on.

But that was all before legendary Meet the Press host Tim Russert died suddenly in 2008.

When David Gregory took over hosting duties at Meet the Press shortly after Tim Russert’s passing, his chief problem was that he wasn’t Tim Russert. Russert had a warmth, respect, and charm that audiences didn’t think Gregory had. According to Warming Glow, David Gregory isn’t respected much by his colleagues either, saying they’ve “never had much love for the prickly, ambitious Gregory.”

The problem for David Gregory on Meet the Press is also a product of the times we live in. In the age of the 24 hour a day/seven days a week cable news outlets and instant communication between newsmakers and news readers via the internet, the Sunday morning talk show format is lagging behind the times. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the Sunday morning shows like Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and This Week are great branding centers for the network news divisions, conveying seriousness and legitimacy — hence, they will remain despite falling ratings across the board.

CNN announced this morning that David Gregory’s last stint on Meet the Press will air this Sunday morning, and Chuck Todd, the Political Director for all of NBC News and current host of MSNBC’s The Rundown, will be officially announced as the new host of Meet the Press later today or on Monday.

Meet the Press is the longest running program on television — having started in 1947. Chuck Todd will be Meet the Press’ 12th anchor, and many are saying he’s the perfect guy for the job. Well known as being a “political junkie,” Todd has an affable, nerdy charm that connects with viewers. Additionally, among politicians on the Beltway and in the television news industry, Chuck Todd is extremely well-respected, unlike David Gregory. The expectations for Chuck to bring Meet the Press back to the top of the Sunday morning news heap are high and — given his talent and on-air presence — reasonable.

David Gregory confirmed his departure from NBC through a series of Twitter messages on Thursday afternoon.

The Twitter format was perhaps the best place to sign off from for someone described by his colleagues as “prickly.”

One more chapter ends, and another begins, in the long, long history of NBC’s Meet the Press.

[Image via Politicus USA]

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