Chuck Todd must be feeling pretty good after ousting David Gregory as host of the NBC’s august Sunday news program Meet the Press last month. But the cable news veteran would likely be stung to known he was not his network’s first choice.
New York magazine claims that before tapping Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness pushed hard for Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to take over at Meet the Press. Three highly placed television sources confirmed that Turness met with the The Daily Show host, and was willing to offer him “anything” to take the job. “They were ready to back the Brinks trucks up,” one source said. Neither NBC News nor a Stewart spokesperson denied the allegations.
The liberal Stewart would’ve pushed Meet the Press even further to the left than Gregory, who was often accused of carrying water for the Democratic party. But he also could have carried his loyal, young audience over to NBC — something the network desperately wants as it still struggles to regain its place atop ABC’s This Week and CBS’s Face the Nation.