No big surprise here but Politico is now reporting that Chuck Todd will probably be replacing David Gregory as host of Meet The Press. It was almost inevitable that NBC News would be ousting Gregory due to the terrible ratings of that Sunday news show while he was hosting. The only question was who was going to replace Gregory and it now seems to be confirmed that the widely acknowledged leading candidate is going to be Todd.
The big question now is if Chuck Todd can put aside his liberal reflexes and provide the Meet The Press audience with some surprises as Tim Russert did or will he follow in the footsteps of David Gregory and treat his job like its purpose is primarily to play defense for the Democrats. Of course, the latter course would be a guarantee of remaining in Meet The Press ratings oblivion. In the meantime, let us read the Politico report which is sure to make Chris Matthews turn green with envy:
SIREN: Chuck Todd, a political obsessive and rabid sports fan, is the likely successor to David Gregory as moderator of “Meet the Press,” with the change expected to be announced in coming weeks, according to top political sources. The move is an effort by NBC News President Deborah Turness to restore passion and insider cred to a network treasure that has been adrift since the death in 2008 of the irreplaceable Tim Russert. Although Todd is not a classic television performer guaranteed to wow focus groups, his NBC bosses have been impressed by his love of the game, which brings with it authenticity, sources, and a loyal following among newsmakers and political junkies.
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.
Will Todd continue with "Lean Forward" liberalism or break that mold to actually attract viewers to Meet The Press? So far, the evidence doesn't look promising but, hey, ratings success is a pretty strong incentive to cast aside one's natural political bias. What Chuck will have to battle is his inner Liberal such when he wondered if in the IRS scandal there "are any actual real victims?" OTOH, there are instances when Todd was able to channel the spirit of Tim Russert such as the time when he mocked the Democrat spin of a special election loss in Florida.
It remains to be seen if future (according to Politico) Meet The Press host Todd will strive for increased viewership or follow in the path of the predictable David Gregory. Oh, and if Chuck is so passionate about Miami Hurricanes football, then where is his George Mira autograph?