Washington’s chattering class tends to care an inordinate amount about the relative ups and downs of the city’s pundits. And the chattering was turned all the way up to 11 with Monday’s Politico Playbook report blaring that NBC’s Meet the Press would “announce (a) new moderator soon.”
By midweek, it had become clear that Playbook was right; a change was coming — the only questions were when the announcement would be made and who would replace moderator David Gregory. All interested parties were silent on the matter, which only fueled the gossip.
The wait ended Thursday when CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that the decision had been made; Gregory was stepping aside at “Meet” and leaving NBC; Chuck Todd, the network’s political director and host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown, would take over. Gregory, who had moderated the show since 2008 and presided over declining ratings , confirmed the news gracefully via Twitter: “I leave NBC as I came — humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is.”
(Worth noting: I am a paid contributor to MSNBC and NBC. I know David in passing and have been friends with Chuck for the better part of the past decade.)
In the grand scope of the news of the past week — the showdown between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, the refugee crisis in Iraq, Ebola continuing to ravage West Africa — the machinations of a Sunday-morning talk show were a blip on the radar. But for Washington, it was a blip that mattered.
David Gregory, for finding yourself at the center of This Town’s media maelstrom, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.