Monday, December 8, 2008

Meet the Press Meets New Host

As reported here (and broken by the Huffington Post) on Tuesday, Dec. 2, David Gregory will become the permanent moderator of “Meet the Press.” NBC News officially made the announcement on Sunday morning.

The network used the appearance of President-Elect Barack Obama on Sunday's program to name Mr. Gregory, who will start next week. Tom Brokaw, the interim moderator, formally introduced the new host at the end of his interview with President-Elect Obama.

Mr. Brokaw announced that this Sunday would be his last as what he called “the temporary moderator” filling in for his longtime friend, Mr. Russert, who died of a heart attack in June, and praised Mr. Gregory as both a great journalist and personal friend.

Mr. Gregory called the appointment “an incredible honor,” and promised to follow Mr. Russert’s advice to “hold leaders accountable.” He added, “It’s all about preparation” and said he would take on the job “with great purpose.”

A personal note here about Mr. Gregory: I had the pleasure of working with him in the mid-90s before his assignment to the White House and the meteoric rise to his career. He was an occasional substitute host for Chris Matthews on what was then called "Politics with Chris Matthews" on CNBC (before it became "Hardball" and moved over to MSNBC). Along with Tim Russert, I considered him a fair, hard-working journalist. He was always respectful toward members of the crew and took care to personally thank everyone at the end of each live show.

He also had an endearing, comedic propensity for tripping over camera and audio cables, as well as the assorted detritus of television studios in general, even though they were secured to the floor with gaffer tape. We always chuckled and passed it off on his oversized foot---Mr. Gregory is upwards of 6'5" and possesses at least a 14 shoe size. It's hard to navigate studio materiel with snow shoes, you know.

(sources: NY Times, AP)

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