“Don't go away mad,” an old saying goes, “just go away.” That seems to be the case with David Gregory, who is receiving a grand total of $4 million to end his six-year tenure as host of the NBC News Meet the Press program.
Part of the 43-year-old anchor's contract is a “nondisparagement clause,” which specifies that he is not to speak out against the network, according to an article written by Emily Smith and Stephanie Smith of the Page Six website.
The Smiths quoted a source who stated that since Gregory's previous contract hosting the low-rated Sunday morning show extended into next year, NBC had to pay him for the rest of the term -- along with a bonus to guarantee his silence on the matter.
As a result, the liberal host announced his departure in two brief Tweeter posts, which read:
I leave NBC as I came -- humbled and grateful. I love journalism, and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is.
I have great respect for my colleagues at NBC News and wish them all well. To the viewers, I say thank you.
“But quietly, sources say, Gregory is 'angry and humiliated' at the way he was treated by NBC suits who let him twist in the wind through months of painful speculation before finally pulling the plug,” the Smiths claimed.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Charles David "Chuck" Todd -- NBC News chief White House correspondent and political director, as well as host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC -- has been tapped as Gregory's replacement.
In order to give Todd time to wrap up his current duties before taking over the program on September 7, Andrea Mitchell -- host of an hour-long eponymous MSNBC series -- hosted Sunday's edition of the weekly program.
While hosting the longest-running program in television history, Mitchell did her best to make it seem that Gregory has been a wildly successful newsman.
Meet the Press makes a lot of history, and a great deal of it was with David at the helm since he started in December 2008. Vice President Joe Biden made front-page news when he got ahead of the president in 2012 and embraced gay marriage.
And an important moment [came] in the 2012 presidential primary, when David moderated a GOP debate live on a Sunday morning, just two days before the New Hampshire primary. Then there was David's landmark interview in Afghanistan in 2010 with General David Petraeus after he took command of U.S. and NATO forces.
“Before taking the Meet the Press chair,” Mitchell stated, “David had a stellar eight years covering presidential politics and the White House for NBC News, where he covered George W. Bush from the first primaries to 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“Through all the years, David has been true to the traditions of this program and NBC News,” she noted. “As David leaves NBC News for his next adventure, I will miss him as a daily colleague, but I know he will always be a friend.”
Regarding Gregory's “next adventure,” the Smiths indicated that his future may be at CNN since “the network was developing a pilot for him, while others speculate he could land on Crossfire with Newt Gingrich, which could use an authoritative moderator.”
A move to CNN would make sense, the reporters stated, since the anchor “enjoyed close ties with former NBC honcho Jeff Zucker before the exec took over at CNN Worldwide last year.”
Nevertheless, the host of Meet the Press shouldn't be surprised at his constantly low ratings. In early June, Gregory responded to a call from Dr. Ben Carson for a government that follows the Constitution by asserting: “That's a very highly charged thing to say.”
A month later, the anchor grilled Congressman Mike Rogers by asking the Michigan Republican: “Do you lament the Republican Party's stand on immigration reform?” During the same weekend, the liberal host fawned over Anita Hill on the subject she's most familiar with: sexual harassment.
Gregory's favorite targets were almost always members of the GOP. After stating that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan “doesn't have a lot of sympathy for poor people,” the Meet the Press moderator lamented the “do-nothing” nature of Republicans in Congress.”
While Gregory is killing some time silently counting all the money he got to leave the network, it's unlikely that Todd will change the liberal slant of the program even though NBC News President Deborah Turness claims the move will “restore passion and insider cred to a network treasure that has been adrift since the death in 2008 of the irreplaceable Tim Russert.”
Good luck with that.