In Depth

12 to Watch: David Gregory

NBC News’ David Gregory became a figure to watch a few months ago, just as coverage of the presidential election began to pick up speed.

12 to Watch

Mr. Gregory, NBC’s chief White House correspondent during President George W. Bush’s reign, was tapped to host MSNBC’s coverage of debates and Election Night after the failure of the network’s co-anchor experiment with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, two figures in cable news not unfamiliar with showing their political bias.

“There can be too much of a tendency to demonize people who are here doing important work for the country,” Mr. Gregory said of journalism in Washington, D.C.

While he believes some divisiveness in the media is due to design and that it does have its place, he said he feels “very independent-minded and very fair” with regard to how he approaches those in Washington.

It is with that fairness that Mr. Gregory said he faces his newest role, moderator for NBC’s venerable Sunday morning news show “Meet the Press.” He officially took over in mid-December.

“For someone like me who loves to cover politics, who loves to cover Washington and cover the world, there couldn’t be a more exciting time,” Mr. Gregory said of the start of the new presidency. “Coupled with the fact that people are really engaged all over the country in politics, the new government and the challenges that the country faces … means that everything carries with it higher stakes than before.”

Mr. Gregory didn’t come to his latest role under the easiest of circumstances. He recognizes it was a “difficult year” at NBC News due to the unexpected death of longtime “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert and the unavoidable task of finding a replacement.

“We lost a legend this summer,” NBC News President Steve Capus said at the time of Mr. Gregory’s appointment. “We hand the program over to someone who has a true appreciation and respect for the ‘Meet the Press’ legacy, and a keen sense of what it needs to be in the future.”

“I think what Tim created for this program … was a place of tough questioning, accountability, fairness, balance and relevance, and that’s how I understand the legacy to be,” Mr. Gregory said. “I’m just working like hell to live up to both the legacy and what the program represents.”

AT A GLANCE

Name: David Gregory

Title: Moderator of “Meet the Press”

How long in current position: Two months (though he’s been with NBC News since 1995)

Year of birth: 1970

Place of birth: Los Angeles

What to watch for: How will his experience serving as NBC’s chief White House correspondent during the Bush administration translate to his coverage of the Obama administration, and will “MTP” continue its Sunday morning ratings stronghold?

Who knew? Mr. Gregory met his wife, Beth Wilkinson, while covering the Oklahoma City bombing trials.

DavidGregory.jpg