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."