The Daily Beast has a bit up that implies Upchuck Todd might be on his way out because the flagship public affairs program is hemorrhaging viewers in the most important demographics:
NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ Shakeup Puts Chuck Todd in JeopardyThe executive producer of Meet the Press, who NBC announced last week is ”shifting” over to the streaming side, was pushed out amid the Sunday politics show’s ratings woes, two people familiar with the matter told Confider.
John Reiss, who had been EP for the last eight years, was officially punted over to the NBC News Now streaming service, and David P. Gelles, a long-time CNN producer who helped develop the now-defunct CNN+ streamer, was parachuted in to help fix the sinking show, which is down 21 percent in total viewership and 24 percent in the key advertising demographic compared to last year—more than any of the other Sunday politics shows.
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.
NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker is being groomed to replace Todd, multiple insiders with knowledge of the matter said, and is expected to take on more hosting duties as the midterm elections approach.
I’m not familiar with Welker, so I’m inclined to think anything that gets rid of Upchuck to be a net positive. That said I’ve heard from astute media overseers that Welker is in the Maggie Haberman mold of being an access journalist and not a strong interviewer, so essentially Upchuck in a skirt.
Todd was already demoted once this year when his Meet the Press Daily broadcast on MSNBC was relegated to NBC’s streaming service. And earlier this year, with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell in attendance, Todd was brutally roasted by Trevor Noah at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. “How are you doing?” the Daily Show host asked Todd. “I’d ask a follow-up, but I know you don’t know what those are.”
According to 30 Rock insiders, these incidents have all demonstrated how Todd remains unpopular with viewers and critics and that the Meet the Press franchise has been overexposed.
“At what point does anyone have the balls to say ‘Maybe the problem is the face of it’?” one Meet the Press source wondered. The show has thus far been unable to replace its booking producer, who recently left for Meta, according to sources familiar with the situation.
So an unwatchable host, no bookers, and in a ratings free-fall, I would say looking at replacing the host is probably what’s next. Meet the Press is the flagship Sunday Talkie and if Upchuck sinks it, well, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.