Not only is Gregory leaving "Meet the Press," he is also leaving the network. His next career move is not yet known.
"The next-generation 'Meet the Press,' led by Chuck Todd, is certain to be the must-watch political destination on Sundays and beyond," NBC News president Deborah Turness said in an internal memorandum that doubled as the network's announcement.
He tweeted the following:
I leave NBC as I came - humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is . (1 of 2)— David Gregory (@davidgregory) August 14, 2014
(2 of 2) I have great respect for my colleagues at NBC News and wish them all well. To the viewers, I say thank you.— David Gregory (@davidgregory) August 14, 2014
And Chuck Todd is in:
Honored and humbled to be in the company of great MTP moderators, including David, Tom and of course Tim. All three taught me so much.— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) August 15, 2014
Todd will officially take over on September 7, 2014. Politico, for its part, explains exactly what prompted the shake-up, and how the ratings were so poor that NBC News' president even entertained the idea of scrapping the program altogether:
In fact, even Todd’s bosses needed to be persuaded. Deborah Turness, the president of NBC News, was lukewarm on him, sources at the network said. Disappointed by the program’s poor ratings under host David Gregory, she had entertained all manner of revisions: Moving the show to New York and handing it over to a more affable, nonpolitical personality like Savannah Guthrie, the co-host of the “Today” show; changing the show’s name; perhaps even canceling it and starting over. That Turness was considering such diverse and radical options right up until the end — while Gregory was left to twist in the wind, enduring an onslaught of criticism and negative press — shows just how uncertain she was about the appropriate solution.
In the end, Turness decided to double-down on the formula that had made “Meet the Press” an institution: a Washington-based pure politics program moderated by a veteran political reporter. Under the late Tim Russert, who died in 2008, “Meet” had spent 15 years as the No. 1 Sunday public affairs program, and he and the show occupied a sacred space in American politics.
On Thursday, Turness sent a memo to staff announcing that Gregory would leave NBC and that Todd would “take the helm” on Sept. 7.
There will be enormous pressure on Todd to restore the show’s enduring greatness. But is this “veteran political reporter” the right man for the job? We’ll find out soon enough.