The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright had another talker this week: “NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ Shakeup Puts Chuck Todd in Jeopardy.”
“Meet the Press” recently named a new executive producer in David P. Gelles, who comes over from CNN. Cartwright wrote, “Gelles’ first order of business, multiple sources said, is deciding what to do about Chuck Todd, who despite recently signing a two-year extension, as Confider has learned, has baffled many at NBC with how long he’s remained atop the struggling show.”
Cartwright wrote that Kristen Welker might start hosting more in the coming months and could ultimately end up as the next moderator of the venerable Sunday morning show.
It doesn’t appear Todd was bothered by the speculation. In fact, he even had a little fun with it. On Wednesday, Todd tweeted a link to Dictionary.com about Mark Twain’s famous saying, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Meanwhile, an NBC News spokesperson told the Poynter Report: “We are immensely proud of Meet the Press – its legacy, its purpose, and its growth with new audiences. We are especially proud of Chuck’s leadership and continued commitment to engaging a whole new generation of viewers in ways the program’s Washington peers are only beginning to imagine. That’s been our focus since day one and it continues to pay off for the brand.”
I’ll catch plenty of grief for what I’m about to say, but I’m a Chuck Todd fan, and I believe he does a good job as host of “MTP.” He’s a punching bag among the Sunday morning Twitter mob, which is easily frustrated by nonresponsive responses by the many of the politicians who appear on his show.
Todd is often criticized for the remarks made by guests, and then not properly following up or pushing back hard enough. When you have a guest on for only six or seven minutes, the whole time cannot be spent following up on one comment. Todd will try to pin down an answer or call out misleading statements, but eventually he must move on to other topics — and that is often the source of viewers’ irritations.
I think Todd does a solid job on “Meet the Press,” which continues to be a must-watch each and every Sunday.
A version of this piece first appeared in The Poynter Report, our daily newsletter for everyone who cares about the media. Subscribe to The Poynter Report here.