Meet the Press
|Meet the Press|
|Format||Public affairs, news|
|Created by||Martha Rountree
Lawrence E. Spivak
|Directed by||Rob Melick |
|Presented by||David Gregory (2008–present)|
|Narrated by||Fred Facey (1984–2008)
Bert Pence (2008–present)
|Theme music composer||John Williams|
|Opening theme||"The Pulse of Events" (fourth part of The Mission)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||66|
|No. of episodes||5,048 (as of May 19, 2013)|
|Executive producer(s)||Betsy Fischer Martin (2002–2012)
Robert Myers Yarin (2013–present)
30 minutes w/commercials
|Picture format||480i (4:3 SDTV) (1947-2010)
1080i (16:9 HDTV) (2010-present)
|Original run||November 6, 1947 – present|
Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program airing on NBC. It is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, despite bearing little resemblance to the original format of the program seen in its television debut on November 6, 1947. Under host Tim Russert, Meet the Press was the highest-rated of the American television Sunday morning talk shows in 2006. As of the end of 2013, it was struggling in the ratings and ranked third, with NBC management uncertain as to the future direction of the series.
It has been hosted by 11 moderators, beginning with Martha Rountree. The current host is David Gregory, who assumed the role in December 2008. The show began using a new set on May 2, 2010, with video screens and a library-style set with bookshelves, and different, modified intro music, with David Gregory previewing the guests using a large video screen, and with the Meet the Press theme music in a shorter "modernized [style]... the beginning repeated with drum beats" (see "High-definition broadcasting" below for additional information). Meet the Press and similar shows specialize in interviewing national leaders on issues of politics, economics, foreign policy and other public affairs.
Over the past few years, the program's usual time slot over the NBC network is between 9-10 a.m. local time in most markets, though this may vary by markets due to commitments by affiliates to religious, E/I or local news, paid, and public affairs programming. It also varies several weeks in the summer due to morning coverage of French Open tennis or the Monaco Grand Prix by NBC Sports. In earlier years, the program would air at noon every Sunday. The program also re-airs Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. ET and early Monday mornings at 4 a.m. ET on MSNBC (and also over the audio simulcast of MSNBC on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio), along with an early Monday morning replay as part of NBC's "All Night" lineup. The program is also distributed to radio stations via syndication by Westwood One, and aired as part of C-SPAN Radio's replay of the Sunday morning talk shows.
The longevity of Meet the Press is illustrated when one considers that the program debuted during what was only the second official "network television season" for American television. One historical landmark of the program is that it was the first on which a sitting U.S. president, then Gerald Ford, appeared on a live television network news program, which occurred on the November 9, 1975 broadcast.
- 1 Format
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Moderators
- 4 History
- 5 See also
- 6 References and footnotes
- 7 External links
|This section requires expansion. (June 2008)|
The show's format consists of an extended one-on-one interview with the host and is sometimes followed by a roundtable discussion or one-on-two interview with figures in adversarial positions, either Congress members from opposite sides of the aisle or political commentators. Originally a half-hour program for most of its history, the show expanded to 60 minutes starting with the September 20, 1992 broadcast.
Occasionally, a final segment called "The Meet the Press Minute" airs. It is devoted to topical clips from the show's extensive archives.
Meet the Press originates on NBC in the United States, with additional telecasts on various other NBCUniversal channels, including MSNBC in the U.S. and Canada, CNBC Europe in Europe, and CNBC Asia in Asia. It is also broadcast in Australia on the Seven Network.
Meet the Press is also available as an audio or video podcast, and is simulcast on radio stations by Westwood One (which also handles distribution of all other NBC-produced radio programming, including NBC News Radio).
The following is the list of moderators for Meet the Press:
|Lawrence E. Spivak||1966–1975|
|Roger Mudd & Marvin Kalb
|Tom Brokaw (interim)||2008|
Meet the Press began on radio in 1945 as American Mercury Presents: Meet the Press, a program to promote The American Mercury, a magazine that Lawrence E. Spivak had purchased in 1939. Before the program aired, Spivak asked the journalist Martha Rountree, who had worked in radio and had worked for Spivak as a roving editor for the magazine, to critique the plans for the new radio show. Based on her advice, Rountree created a new radio program that she called The American Mercury, on October 5, 1945.
On November 6, 1947, while still on the Mutual Broadcasting System, the show was subsequently reincarnated on the NBC television network and the title shortened to simply Meet the Press. The radio version also adopted the new name. Although some sources credit Spivak with the program's creation, Rountree developed the idea on her own, and Spivak joined as co-producer and business partner in the enterprise after the show had already debuted.
Meet the Press was originally presented as a 30-minute press conference with a single guest and a panel of questioners. Its first guest was James Farley, who served as Postmaster General, Democratic National Committee Chairman, and campaign manager to Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the first two terms of the New Deal Administration. Its first host was its creator Martha Rountree, the program's only female moderator to date. She stepped down on November 1, 1953, and was replaced by Ned Brooks, who remained as moderator until his retirement on December 26, 1965. Spivak became the moderator on January 1, 1966, moving up from his role as a permanent panelist. He retired on November 9, 1975, on a special one-hour edition that featured, for the first time, a sitting president (Gerald Ford) as guest. The next week, Bill Monroe, previously a weekly panelist like Spivak had been years before, took over as moderator and stayed until June 2, 1984.
For the next seven and a half years, the program then went through a series of hosts as it struggled in the ratings against ABC's This Week with David Brinkley. Roger Mudd and Marvin Kalb (as co-moderators) followed Monroe for a year, followed by Chris Wallace (who would later to go on to a much longer run as host of the rival program Fox News Sunday) from 1987 to 1988. Garrick Utley, then hosting Weekend Today, concurrently hosted Meet the Press from 1989 through December 1, 1991. All this occurred despite the increasing ratings of NBC News' other programs (and those of the network generally) during that period.
Network officials, concerned for the show's future, turned to Tim Russert, the network's Washington D.C. bureau chief. He took over on December 8, 1991, and remained until his death on June 13, 2008, serving as moderator longer than anyone else in the program's history.
Under Russert, the show was expanded to one hour and became less of a televised press conference and more focused on Russert's questions and comments, with longer interviews and with Russert hosting panels of experts. Russert signed off by saying, "That's all for today. We'll be back next week. If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press." Current host David Gregory uses the same sign-off.
During the football season, Russert, a native of Buffalo, New York and an avid Buffalo Bills fan, sometimes added, "Go Bills!", and occasionally would ask panelists, "How 'bout those Sabres?" if the Buffalo NHL hockey team was doing well. Spoofs of the show on Saturday Night Live often reflect this addition.
Russert died on June 13, 2008 of a sudden coronary thrombosis (caused by a cholesterol plaque rupture). Former NBC Nightly News anchor and current special correspondent Tom Brokaw hosted a special edition of Meet the Press dedicated to the life of Russert on June 15, 2008, in which Tim Russert's chair was left empty, as a tribute.
Mark Whitaker was named the Washington D.C. Bureau Chief and was given "executive oversight" of Meet the Press.
Interim Brokaw era
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams acted as moderator of the first show following the June 15 tribute to Russert, with the same guests and subject matter that Russert was planning for when he died.
Following Russert's death, Tom Brokaw was named the interim moderator through the 2008 general elections. Brokaw followed Russert's tradition by signing off with "We'll be back next Sunday because if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press." In September of that year, the show was presented with limited commercials.
On August 10, David Gregory moderated the panel discussion during the second half-hour of the broadcast while Brokaw anchored the first half-hour from the Olympics in Beijing. The following week on August 17, he moderated the entire show. It was also reported on December 1, 2008, that the December 7 broadcast would be Brokaw's last, with David Gregory becoming the new permanent host the following Sunday.
David Gregory began his tenure as moderator on December 14, 2008. On December 18, 2008, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd was named Contributing Editor of Meet the Press. Under Gregory's tenure as moderator, Meet the Press has significantly decline in ratings since 2008. In the final three months of 2013, the program came in third place for total viewers behind CBS's Face The Nation and ABC's This Week for the first time since 1992 and experienced the lowest ratings in the show's entire history among the key 25 to 54 viewing demographic.
The set utilized from March 17, 1996 to April 25, 2010 had been designed as an experimental set for high-definition broadcasting and several editions of the series (including the first broadcast of a regular series on a major television network in HD) had aired in the format in the 1990s over experimental HD station WHD-TV in Washington. Despite this, the show remained in 480i standard definition television over the NBC network itself. On May 2, 2010 the show became the last NBC News program to convert to HD, and unveiled a new set consisting of large video screens mostly used to display Washington scenery, satellite interview subjects and moderator and subject talking points, along with graphics made for the format.
Locations (outside of D.C. studios)
- July 17, 1988: Atlanta, Georgia—1988 Democratic National Convention
- August 14, 1988: New Orleans, Louisiana—1988 Republican National Convention
- December 3, 1989: Malta—Malta Summit
- July 16, 1989: Paris, France—G7
- September 9, 1990: Helsinki, Finland—Helsinki summit
- July 12, 1992: New York, New York—1992 Democratic National Convention
- August 16, 1992: 1992 Republican National Convention
- April 4, 1993: Vancouver, Cananda—Clinton-Yeltsin summit
- January 30, 1994: Atlanta, Georgia—Super Bowl, Buffalo Bills went for and lost their fourth straight game; Russert publicly prayed on-air with his father
- September 16, 2001: Camp David—interview with then–Vice President Dick Cheney in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks
- January 18, 2004: Des Moines, Iowa—24 hours before the Iowa caucuses
- January 25, 2004: Bedford, New Hampshire—48 hours before the New Hampshire primary
- February 1, 2004: Milwaukee, Wisconsin—interview with Howard Dean
- February 8, 2004: Oval Office—interview with then-President George W. Bush
- July 25, 2004: Boston, Massachusetts—2004 Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama made an appearance on the show as he was going to give the keynote address
- August 29, 2004: New York, New York—2004 Republican National Convention
- October 31, 2004: New York, New York—two days before the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election
- October 8, 2007: Des Moines, Iowa—interview with John Edwards
- November 11, 2007: Des Moines, Iowa—interview with Barack Obama
- December 30, 2007: Des Moines, Iowa—interview with Mike Huckabee, two days before the 2008 Iowa caucuses
- January 6, 2008: Bedford, New Hampshire—two days before the New Hampshire primaries
- January 13, 2008: South Carolina—interview with Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign
- January 20, 2008: New York, New York—roundtable discussion
- January 27, 2008: Tampa, Florida
- June 29, 2008: Jackson Hole, Wyoming—Western Governors' Association annual meeting and Simi Valley, California (Reagan Library)
- July 27, 2008: London, England—Barack Obama's overseas trip
- August 10, 2008: Beijing, China—2008 Beijing Olympics
- August 24, 2008: Denver, Colorado—2008 Democratic National Convention
- August 31, 2008: Saint Paul, Minnesota—2008 Republican National Convention
- September 7, 2008: Wilmington, Delaware—Senator Joe Biden appears on the show
- October 26, 2008: Waterloo, Iowa—John McCain's campaign stop
- December 7, 2008: Chicago, Illinois—Barack Obama's appearance on the show; while the show was taped in Chicago, Brokaw introduced and ended the show in D.C.
- June 14, 2009: Wilmington, Delaware—Vice President Joe Biden appears on the show
- August 29, 2010: New Orleans, Louisiana—special broadcast five years after Hurricane Katrina, moderated by Brian Williams
- January 1, 2012: Des Moines, Iowa—interview with Rick Santorum, two days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses
- January 8, 2012: Bedford, New Hampshire—two days before the New Hampshire primaries
Notable guests and events
The following is a partial list of notable guests and milestones for the show.
- First guest: James A. Farley, the former Postmaster General of the United States and former Democratic National Committee Chair.
- First female guest: Elizabeth Bentley, a courier for a Communist spy ring, on September 12, 1948.
- Every U.S. President since John F. Kennedy has appeared on Meet the Press, although not necessarily during his presidency. Jimmy Carter used his appearance on January 20, 1980 to announce the United States' boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics. Ronald Reagan appeared seven times prior to being elected the President, but did not appear during his presidency. Bill Clinton was the guest for the 50th anniversary broadcast on November 9, 1997. The February 8, 2004 interview with George W. Bush was conducted in the Oval Office at the White House. The December 7, 2008 interview was with then President-elect Barack Obama.
- The first live communications satellite television interview occurred on Meet the Press on September 19, 1965, with the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
References and footnotes
- 60th anniversary background information from msnbc.com
- Martha Rountree: Radio/Television Producer, Writer, Host from shemadeit.org, a Paley Center for Media website
- About Meet the Press
- The Sounds of War, an April 2003 article from Slate
- "Meet the Press: Cast & Details". TV Guide. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- "About Meet The Press". Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- Meet the Press: U.S. Public Affairs/Interview/ Museum of Broadcast Communications[dead link]
- Tim Russert hits ratings milestone - USATODAY.com
- Atkinson, Claire (21 December 2013). "C staff irked as NBC News eyes cuts". New York Post. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- Mike Allen (2 December 2008). "Gregory to host 'Meet the Press'". Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- David Paul Kuhn (2008-06-13). "Memorable Tim Russert moments". Politico. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- Free audio and video downloaded to your PC or portable player from msnbc.com
- Meet the Press from Dial Global
- 60 Years Ago in News History: America Meets the Press from the Newseum website
- Meet the Press: U.S. Public Affairs/Interview from the Museum of Broadcast Communications
- Fast facts about the longest-running program in TV history - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC - MSNBC.com
- "In the Hot Seat". The Washington Post. May 23, 2004. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Tim Russert's Commencement Address - CUA Office of Public Affairs
- Transcript for August 15 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- June 22: Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), political roundtable - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC - MSNBC.com
- "NBC's Tom Brokaw to moderate 'Meet the Press' through election". Retrieved 2008-06-22.
- Gregory to host 'Meet the Press' - Mike Allen - POLITICO.com
- Sunday, May 2: 'Meet the Press' to broadcast in HD, debut a new set - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- "THE DEMOCRATS IN ATLANTA; Today's Schedule". The New York Times. 17 July 1988. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- http://www.livingprimetime.com/tr2.htm. Missing or empty
- January 18, 2004 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- January 25, 2004 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- February 1, 2004 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- February 8, 2004 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Transcript for July 25 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Transcript for August 29 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Transcript for October 31 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- MTP transcript for Oct. 7, 2007 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- MTP transcript for Nov. 11, 2007 - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Dec. 30: Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama — Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Jan. 13: Hillary Clinton - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Jan. 20: Political roundtable - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Jan. 27: John McCain, political roundtable - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- June 29: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D-WY), Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO), Chuck Todd - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- June 29: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D-WY), Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO), Chuck Todd - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- July 27: Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Aug. 10: Henry Paulson, political roundtable - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Aug. 24: Caroline Kennedy, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), political roundtable - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- Aug. 31: Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), political roundtable - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
- BEHIND THE SCENES: KWWL will host "Meet the Press" this Sunday - KWWL.com - News & Weather for Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, Iowa |
- Dec. 7: President-elect Barack Obama - Meet the Press - msnbc.com
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Meet the Press.|
- Meet the Press Official website
- 60th anniversary background information
- Purchase selected Meet the Press presidential interviews (Films Media Group)
- Meet the Press at the Internet Movie Database
- Meet the Press at TV.com
- @MeeTthePress on Twitter
- Meet the Press on Google+
- Meet The Press on Facebook
- Booknotes interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press: 50 Years of History in the Making, December 7, 1997.