Tags: Jon Stewart | Chuck Todd | David Gregory | Meet the Press | NBC

Report: Jon Stewart Was Offered 'Meet the Press' Job

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 07:16 PM

Before former NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd was tapped as the new host of "Meet the Press" a month ago, network executives had considered taking the venerated Sunday morning news program in a radically different direction.

They wanted to hire Comedy Central's "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart.

New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer blog is reporting that NBC News President Deborah Turness tried hard to get the comedian and actor to take over the show from host David Gregory, who had proved a ratings disappointment.

The website's writer, Gabriel Sherman, says he talked with three senior television sources who had knowledge of the discussions.

"One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually 'anything' to bring him over," Sherman writes. "They were ready to back the Brinks truck up," he quoted the source as saying.

Spokespersons for both NBC and Stewart declined to comment.

"Meet the Press" had languished in third place under Gregory, who replaced longtime host Tim Russert after Russert's unexpected death in 2008. Russert was known for his no-nonsense interviews, something Stewart has also done with his guests. After his tough interview with former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the failed Obamacare launch in October 2013, he told the audience, "Maybe she's just lying to me."

The move to get Stewart is believed to have been a play to grab a younger audience, the website notes, and Stewart may have turned down the deal because he thought his current 11 p.m. weekday audience wouldn't get up to see a show at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Todd, a political junkie who had sought the job when it was first given to Gregory, captured high ratings when he scored an interview with President Barack Obama for his first show. But in the month since, "Meet the Press" has sunk back to third place behind ABC's "This Week" and CBS' "Face the Nation."

Todd responded with a joke on Twitter to the story:


The tweet is a play on the "Meet the Press" closing line, "If it's Sunday, it's 'Meet the Press," and Stewart's "Daily Show" closing line, "Here's your moment of Zen."

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Before former NBC News White House corresponded Chuck Todd was tapped as the new host of Meet the Press a month ago, network executives had considered taking the venerated Sunday morning news program in a radically different direction.
Jon Stewart, Chuck Todd, David Gregory, Meet the Press, NBC
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2014-16-08
Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 07:16 PM
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