NBC is lashing out at a report that says the network is considering dumping the host of its Sunday morning newsmakers show “Meet the Press,” the New York Daily News reports.
The report Monday by the iPad news service The Daily says host David Gregory’s job is in jeopardy because the show — which has been the perennial ratings leader in its segment — has been losing to CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Meet the Press” reportedly fell short of the numbers for the CBS show almost half the time during the past year.
“The story quotes an insider saying ‘the show’s in trouble, and nobody likes Gregory. He has no friends in the division. The only reason he’s still there is they don’t have an obvious replacement,’” the New York Daily News reports.
The Daily News adds: “A quote from another insider references the late Tim Russert, whom Gregory succeeded as ‘Meet the Press’ host in 2008. ‘That sound you hear is Tim Russert spinning in his grave. The commanding lead he built over so many years has been squandered.’”
NBC News issued a statement Tuesday in response to the report, saying, “The rumors recklessly reported by The Daily are categorically untrue.”
NBC News took the opportunity to also take a shot at CBS and “Face the Nation,” saying: “CBS is engaged in ratings gimmickry.”
NBC said “Face the Nation” has been “booking, producing and promoting a one-hour broadcast for several months now, but they continue to only report ratings data for the first half hour.”
The Daily News notes: “The second half-hour of ‘Face the Nation’ is broadcast right after the first on only 65% of CBS affiliates, and therefore isn’t rated.”
CBS News responded with a statement of its own, saying: “Bob [Schieffer] is the dean of Sunday show hosts, and we’re very pleased that his insightful approach is resonating with so many viewers and newsmakers.”