NBC News hired psychological consultant to interview David Gregory’s friends, family

The Washington Post

The “meltdown” in “Meet the Press”‘ ratings “has sounded alarm bells inside NBC News and attracted the attention of its new president, Deborah Turness,” Paul Farhi reports in The Washington Post. Host David Gregory’s “job does not appear to be in any immediate jeopardy, but there are plenty of signs of concern.”

Last year, the network undertook an unusual assessment of the 43-year-old journalist, commissioning a psychological consultant to interview his friends and even his wife. The idea, according to a network spokeswoman, Meghan Pianta, was “to get perspective and insight from people who know him best.” But the research project struck some at NBC as odd, given that Gregory has been employed there for nearly 20 years.

NBC News issued a statement later Monday, saying the person it brought in was a “brand consultant.”

“Face the Nation” is the most popular of the Sunday shows among viewers, Farhi writes. Those shows “are more than just prestige projects for the networks; the relatively large and affluent audiences they attract make them magnets for corporate image advertisers that pay premium prices for airtime.”

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  • markisenberg

    The Sunday morning interview shows have been overhyped since David Brinkley left NBC for ABC and began This Week. As much as we miss Tim Russert,there is not much news generated from guests or the panel of journalists,etc. who review the week later in most formats. That CBS is the current leader does not mean Mr. Gregory is failing but he may want to go outside the studio to do more field interviews.CBS Face the Nation was not very popular when George Herman was the host or even when Lesley Stahl moderated it. If anything,all tv broadcasts should ask harder questions of guests and not just seek their access. Mr.Brinkley in a rare moment of candor while as an election analyst at ABC,once spoke critically of Bill Clinton. We should ask our tv anchors and moderators to always be fair but not be Larry King softball like in seeking Hillary Clinton’s appearances.