NBC News has issued a statement, which it emailed to Poynter, about a report in The Washington Post that it hired a "psychological consultant" to talk to David Gregory's friends and family about the declining ratings of "Meet the Press," which he hosts.

"Last year Meet the Press brought in a brand consultant—not, as reported, a psychological one—to better understand how its anchor connects," NBC News says. "This is certainly not unusual for any television program, especially one that’s driven so heavily by one person."

Politico's Hadas Gold writes Paul Farhi, who wrote the Post story, told her he "checked with NBC twice on Sunday about the term 'psychological' and that they had no objections at the time." Reached by email, Farhi tells Poynter those conversations were via telephone.