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NBC's 'Meet the Press' may be losing its Sunday talk ratings lead

"Meet the Press," the king of Sunday morning TV news talk shows, could soon lose its crown.

Although NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory still holds the lead as of the April 20 Neilsen numbers, the ratings battle, which has been heating up for months, rages on.

With "Face the Nation," hosted by Bob Schieffer, CBS holds the No. 2 spot. Nipping at its heels is ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.

"Face the Nation" had 2.83 million viewers for its April 20 show, and "This Week" had 2.79 million. (UPDATE: An ABC spokeswoman points out that despite one week of falling to third place, "This Week" holds second place for the season and year so far.)

Sure, the iconic "Meet the Press" maintains a lead with its 3.24 million that same week, but the gap is shrinking.

Some viewers have voiced their opinions on blogs that Gregory, who eventually took over as host after Tim Russert died last summer, isn't filling Russert's shoes.

And although everyone is eager to see who eventually emerges victorious in a battle that was previously dominated by Russert and Company, some are just pleased to have so many quality news programs vying for our attention.

The Baltimore Sun blogged about how this is the "golden age of some exceptionally fine Sunday morning, public affairs, TV programs."

We at The Ticket can't really dispute that, but we also can't help but miss the elegant insights of the late Russert.

-- Mark Milian

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Photo: David Gregory. Credit: Associated Press / Meet The Press

 
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Tim Russert was a terrific talent - a legendary moderator - but David Gregory should be given time to grow into the position. He has real potential.

David Gregory is the reason MTP is about to lose the lead. He's an arrogant, self-absorbed, lousy host. It would have been difficult for ANYONE to replace Tim, but David is a lousy host. Bring on the alternatives.

Too many soft ball questions. Tim didn't give out free passes to the guests. Also, the round table panel David has put together is yuck! Bring back the Carvels !! I want to see somebody get punched in the nose!

"And while everyone is eager to see who eventually emerges victorious in a battle that was previously dominated by Russert and Co., some are just pleased to have so many quality news programs vying for our attention."

Quality? Are you serious? Gregory is pretty woefull. Gwen Ifill would have done a much better job. She could raise the bar for all of them.

The image of David Gregory 'gettin' down' with 'K-Ro' does nothing to hide the 'corporate-lapdog-psuedo journalist' that has betrayed We the People for decades and the 'chickens are coming home to roost'..

David tries too hard. If he actually used logic instead of so painfully trying to capture the sentiment on the extreme right or left, maybe I could take him seriously.

Just because one fringe is taking a stand, it doesn't mean it's intelligent, constructive, or worthy of asking serious people trying to get serious things done for our country.

Quit probing for controversy and facilitate moving the nation forward.

Dick Gregory is such a far cry from Russert , there is no comparison. No one really expects him to be , but Gregory is just plain awful. I used to really look forward to MTP on Sunday morning , now I don't even watch it.

Tim Russert had elegant insights? The same Tim Russert who testified that he considers all conversations with politicians off-the-record unless told otherwise? The same Tim Russert who hosted a TV show that Dick Cheney's office felt was a good venue for them because they could "control the message"? That Tim Russert? The fact that the media considers Tim Russert a person who they should emulate is proof enough that the American press has failed.

I actually left MTP. I am watching This Week with George Stephanopoulus. David Gregory is not filling Russerts shoes but I don't think he can find the shoes. When I watch his style, I think I could do a better job. Poor choice on NBC's part.

David Gregory is a poor interviewer. He asks slanted questions, misses the obvious followups and is generally coasting above his skill level. MTP is no longer worth watching. Sadly, with Gregory is has been getting weaker instead of better. GPS with Fareed is the best, followed by Face the Nation. This Week needs a fresh panel too. The same olds year after year having nothing of interest to offer.

Well, maybe the administration can give 'Meet The PRess' some money to stay afloat. Meanwhile, we've got 10% unemployment here!

Note to David G.

I thought you would be a great pick to fill the MTP spot.

One of the things being said on the blogs is that you seem more interested in asking the question than getting the answer, that you are course in your approach and that, well you not Tim.

My response is 'GIVE HIM TIME", we gave Tim the time he needed to settle into the job, you deserve the same courtesy.

Good luck, I think

Gregory has a laid back style. It's not the "gotcha" of the late Tim Russert. Unless they chance moderators, it's going to be laid back and Face the Nation will slip in and show those young ones, how the game is played.

For my tastes, I wanted Chuck Todd for Meet the Press and Gregory for chief White House correspondent. It's like NBC put the wrong men in the wrong jobs . . .

I think Chris Matthews would do a better job. He'll hold their feet to the fire.

I stopped watching it after Russert passed..it's not that no-one else can do the job, I just think David Gregory is a complete bore..I cannot stand to watch him.

David Gregory is the wrong person for the job. Doesn't have the depth of Russert or Brokaw; too opinionated, always has more to say than his guests.

Stretch stinks. Plain and simple.

Sorry to say, but the only person that can replace Tim Russert is his own son, Luke Russert.

>>Some viewers have voiced their opinions on blogs that Gregory, who replaced previous host Tim Russert when he suddenly died last summer, isn't filling Russert's shoes.

NO KIDDING!! David Gregory was probably close to the worst choice. Andrea Mitchell would have been tons better. There really aren't (m)any quaility news people left...all hype and gossip and personal opinion.

I feel like Gregory just shills for the right and laughs of positions of the left. Plus he's boring.

How bout Chuck Todd?

David Gregory has made MTP unwatchable.

I, too, have completely defected over to THIS WEEK.

I agree with most of the folks above -- Gregory was absolutely the wrong choice. Actually, I would go so far as to say that this was a highly uninspired decision made by NBC News President Steve Capus.

It is unfortunate that Tim has passed, we all loved him. But that kind of circumstance, and with the opportunity to do something bold, Capus just goes with the mainstream? I mean, in this year where we have our first black president, Capus chooses David Gregory?

Not only that, but really, Gregory has not paid his dues yet.

Yes, I agree with two of you above -- how ABOUT Andrea Mitchell? How ABOUT Gwen Ifill? Putting a woman in there would make quite a statement -- but, moreover, either of those two women are highly qualified and would do an amazing job. Everybody loves Andrea and Gwen.

Chris Matthews? Love Chris, but wrong for MTP. Chuck Todd? Love Chuck, but WAY too early for him to be taking the mantle of MTP. He was a pundit who became WH reporter. Needs at least 5 years, if not a decade, to become more seasoned.

Capus, admit it, you blew it! Now remove David Gregory and give Andrea Mitchell or Gwen Ifill (or both?) their due and let people wake up on Sunday morning and enjoy MEET THE PRESS once again.

dave doomed the show...

he is not objective

does not appear to be sincere whit questioning

no tim that's for sre

***" the elegant insights of the late Russert."***

I was about to respond to this [nonsense], but an earlier poster said it all:

Tim Russert had elegant insights? The same Tim Russert who testified that he considers all conversations with politicians off-the-record unless told otherwise? The same Tim Russert who hosted a TV show that Dick Cheney's office felt was a good venue for them because they could "control the message"? That Tim Russert? The fact that the media considers Tim Russert a person who they should emulate is proof enough that the American press has failed.

he is really boring. i have taped the show every week for years, so that i can watch the other shows. after watching the other shows, i have to force myself to watch MTP, no action at all, ppor guests, no drama. terrible. please bring on chris, keith, gwen, anyone else.

Gregory is horrible. I cannot stomach to watch MTP since he took the helm. I literally don't watch it any longer. Throw in Chuck Todd as a frequent contributor and you have the perfect storm of crappy television. Both of those guys are unwatchable. I don't know what NBC New was thinking when they vested their entire new division into the hands of those two losers.

I watch TW now. Wish they would boot Will from his permanent chair as he never has nothing of interest or value to the discssion. He is a tool, but I really enjoy t see Krugman...he's great!

How could anyone who reads watch any of the Sunday Shows anymore? Painfully obvious it is hyping propaganda. On the rare occasions a true liberal is on...they can barely finish a sentence ..much less a thought.

My litmus test...if a dem. is on Sunday after Sunday ...they are owned. The lack of diversity is the give away.

David Gregory is almost as colorless as his hair. He doesn't challenge his guests, and often lets them get away with easily disproved statements. He lacks Russert's finesse, humor, and gently teasing technique.

I understand that in the allegedly enlightened and "liberal" world of the main stream media women are supposed to be considered equal, but the fact is that the white male types who run MTP did not even consider the extremely well-qualified Gwen Ifill for a moment, nor did they make any effort to find someone other than an establishment white male to join the ranks of all the other establishment white males who dominate Sunday talk shows. They didn't even pretend to look at anyone else, not that any of the other shows have ever bothered to acknowledge that some of us feather-headed girls occasionally pause in our shoe-shopping and celebrity-gossiping to think about politics. We're only more than 50% of the population and women make up a substantial number of people volunteering or working for political campaigns. But I guess in the eyes of the network moguls females don't even register on the radar.

David Gregory isn't so bad, no one can expect him to be Russett. He feels the pressure that some are putting on him- give him time.
I'd much rather watch him than John King - Wolf Blitzers replacement, John King has completely turned me off of the Sunday show SOOO outright far right. Give me Geo. S. or Bob S. anytime, they are great. I watch them ALL on Stunday's ==faithfully --except for CNN since King took over.

My Mom and I watched MTP together yesterday morning and I have to say, within 15 minutes, Mom was ready to fall asleep. We both agree that while Gregory should be given a fair chance, we both think he is dull.

Gregory pounces on democrats and uses an angry tone, barely letting them answer a question before he tries to get them to admit some sinister piece of information. Then he chums it up with republicans as if they are the best of friends. Honestly, can't he feign objectivity just a little?

MTP wouldn't be floundering if it had a host who wasnt a shill for the Repignofascist minority in the country. David should work at Fox "News" where his insights and views are more in tune with his viewers. NBC should have learned after his horrible hosting of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on MSNBC that David is not David Brinkley or any other news person who actually knows how to dig and report the news. Adios David. I hear that the Rice Lake Chronotype in Wisconsin is looking for a reporter. They might have room for you.

Gregory just doesn't ask the questions Tim did. He's boring to watch and the show is little more than soft questions for a guest list which is weekly growing less impressive. I've stopped watching cause I just cannot justify devoting an hour of my day to that show any longer.

I used to watch every Sunday am when Russert was on. I can't even watch Gregory, it has gotten so softball.

But even Schieffer and Stephanopoulos have lost it now, so I usually find almost anything else to do on Sunday mornings.

David Gregory is a horrible host. Apparently his only talent lies in dancing hip hop with Karl the Liemaster Rove. I have never seen such a suck-up toady to the right wing as he is. Sometimes he is so obviously biased, I sit there with my mouth hanging open. I never thought Tim Russert was always fair and balanced, but David Gregory makes him look like King Solomon. Get rid of this guy....he is only a shill for his corporate masters, and intelligent questioning is obviously not on his radar screen.

David Gregory is a republican pretending to be objective.
All those smarmy smirks and other idiocy is just a reflection of what's inside trying to get out -- all he time.

I don't like Gregory at all. I haven't watched since Russets' departure. Todd should have een Russets' replacement.

Give Chuck Todd a try.

David Gregory is the worse there is. I stopped watching MTP. Gregory is a carryover of MSNBC's Morning Joe. No one, and I mean no one, can capture the news like Tim Russert. I have no idea what NBC was thinking when they gave MTP to David Gregory. This guy is so bias and he does not do his homework.

There's really no other way to say this - Gregory sucks. Period. He was a bad White House correspondent, a worse host of 1600, and simply unwatchable as host of MTP.

I am also one of those who looked forward to watching MTP (via podcast), yet can't bring myself to do so any longer in the Gregory age. He is the epitome of stale beltway think.

Russert wasn't in my eyes the be all, end all interviewer some make him out to be. His position on all conversations being off-record unless one has explicitly stated it's on-the-record is odd, but then again fairly typical of US journalism as opposed to the European journalism tradition. Remember the Samantha Power "monster" gaffe of last year? The British journalist didn't let her get away with declaring her statement was off-the-record after she had made it. US journalists widely criticised the British journalist, which I find is telling of the excessive chuminess of US journalists with politicians.

This perennial quest for "access" has in many ways neutered the US media. Only this failure of the media's watchdog function made the disastrous Bush era and the erosion of key US institutions possible.

Alas, this "kiss up" mentality of the US media persists. Just look at the White House press corps. Often they act more like groupies and sycophants (the Gregory-Rove dance-off being the most sickening display of this). I am largely sympathetic to Obama's agenda, but I do find the sycophantic White House press corps troublesome no matter who's in the Oval Office.

Stop laughing at bad jokes, stop attending (like the NYT) the White House-Press corps schmoozefests, stop obsessing about "access". Do your jobs!

Gregory was an awful choice to stand in for Russert. He is so full of himself, he can't get out of his own way; and he simply hasn't the guts to ask the questions that need to be asked. I stopped expecting anything substantive from MTP after his first couple of shows.

I agree that Chris Matthews would be the best pick. Tim Russert didn't grow into the job. He came in blazing and mellowed over time. I liked the early Tim Russert, even before MTP. Gregory is like a stepford reporter for NBC corp. As a long time follower of MTP I'm about to bail for a better show or just read Huffington Post.

The reason is simple. David Gregiory is not a progressive.

David Gregory doesn't interview his Democratic guests - he berates them. His 'interview' consists solely of David reading the most scathing right wing comments he can find and expecting his guest to have a reasonable answer for a totally unreasonable premise.

For his Republican guests, he smiles sweetly and lets them prattle on with no intelligent follow up questions.

Only 20% of America identifies with Republicans and their right wing positions. As long as David continues to make those POV's the basis of the discussion, 80% of the viewers are going to tune him out.

I am sorely dissappointed in Gregory's simplistic gotcha questions...further, he hasn't disguised his right leanings..at all. I agree, the job should have gone to Gwen Ifill.

MTP should return to old days when there was a panel of journalists questioning the guests. Lawrence Spivak ended up taking over the program and it evolved into a single strong individual hosting the show - and Tim Russert was one heck of a moderator.

NBC has plenty of talent to spread out and cover for the ineffective Gregory.

My problem with Gregory is that he always seems to be pushing and defending the neocon position a la, Bill Kristol. That's why he loses credibility with me. Gregory was and is a staunch defender of bushco and their grand strategy to remake the Middle East. Booooo.

Gregory is so partisan. He stinks. Gwen Ifill would have been the better pick. She would have kept it real at least. Tim Russert himself would probably had selected Gwen. I pretty much stopped watching Gregory shill for the GOP; especially after seeing him getting all jiggy-with-it with Rove. Yick. MSNBC got it so wrong with Todd in the WH, Gregory on MTP and no line-up for the 9a-5p hours. They should have just let Luke Russert take that spot and grow into the job if they knew they did not want a black host/hostess. Gregory sucks, period.

I agree about Gregory. I will throw in a name. A woman to boot. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad is beng wasted on cnn. She is actually a very good interviewer. If not her... Then George Stenapolous should be hired from ABC.

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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