The rumor mill surrounding the future of Meet The Press host David Gregory kicked into high gear this week with a report from Politico that Gregory will be replaced in the next few weeks by NBC News political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd.
According to Mike Allen’s Playbook, sources have told him that NBC News President Deborah Turness wants to “restore passion and inside cred” to a program that has suffered mightily since the untimely death of Tim Russert in 2008. Since Gregory took over for Russert, Meet The Press has slid from first to third place in the ratings for Sunday shows.
That apparently is just too much for a network that saw its crown jewel, The Today Show, lose its crown after a failed change in co-hosts that resulted in the botched firing of Ann Curry in 2012.
More from Playbook:
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.
The sources caution that nothing is definite or decided. “Meet” once dominated Sunday mornings, but ABC’s “This Week” – with 31-year-old Jonathan Greenberger as executive producer — has scored ratings wins with an increasingly eclectic lineup that emphasizes zippy packages over long interviews. CBS’s “Face the Nation,” with down-homey Bob Schieffer anchoring, has also scored ratings wins as “Meet” struggled.
Chuck, 42, now wears three hats for NBC: chief White House correspondent; host of “The Daily Rundown,” at 9 a.m. weekdays on MSNBC; and political director. The Miami native, an alumnus of George Washington University, was editor in chief of The Hotline when it was the mustest read for political insiders, and is as passionate about Miami Hurricanes college football as he is about campaign dynamics.
While there is no guarantee that Todd will be able to end the ratings slide, his knowledge and passion for politics will undoubtedly reinvigorate a show that has become dull and boring over the last few years.