Jon Stewart Declined Offer To Host ‘Meet The Press’

There is a thin line that separates hardcore political journalism and political satire. It seemed NBC was intent on blurring that line, as they sought to lure political satirist and comedian Jon Stewart to host Meet the Press, its weekly current affairs interview show.

A story, which was first reported by Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine, noted that NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart to try to convince him to host Meet the Press.

Meet the Press is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, though the current format bears little resemblance to the original that debuted on November 6, 1947. Under host Tim Russert, Meet the Press was the highest-rated of the American television Sunday morning talk shows in 2006. As of the end of 2013, it was struggling in the ratings and ranked third, with NBC management uncertain as to the future direction of the series. It has been hosted by 12 moderators, beginning with Martha Rountree. Chuck Todd became the current moderator in September 2014, replacing David Gregory, who left the network in August.

According to the Politico Magazine, Turness was desperate to make some much-needed changes to the show, which has been consistently ranking third behind ABC’s and CBS’ Sunday offerings. She had reportedly considered changing the name and even canceling it.

The Inquisitr earlier reported that NBC fired David Gregory, who replaced Tim Russert after his death in 2008, due to a significant drop in ratings on the show. In the final three months of 2013, the program came in third place for total viewers behind CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week for the first time since 1992, and experienced the lowest ratings in the show’s entire history among the key 25-to-54 demographic.

The revelation that NBC tried to court Jon Stewart as a host for the show met with a wide range of reactions from media pundits and commentators.

Jason Linkins of the The Huffington Post thinks that Jon Stewart made the right decision in turning down the offer to pick up hosting duties on Meet the Press.

He rated Stewart as a credible interviewer, but just doesn’t think he is a good fit for Meet the Press.

“Let’s face it, bringing Stewart to the ‘Meet The Press’ studio would have been something of an awkward graft. Stewart’s always been a capable interviewer, if we define ‘interviewing’ as the simple task of genially greeting a guest and provoking an entertaining conversation. Once Stewart strays from that sort of interview to actual journalistic interlocution, reviews are mixed.”

Do you think Jon Stewart would have made a good host for Meet the Press?

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