The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

16 June 2008

Speculation Begins Over Tim Russert's Network Replacement


Olbermann, Matthews, Gregory Among Those Considered

Less than 72 hours
after his sudden and shocking passing, media speculation over who will replace NBC's Tim Russert is already heating up. If that seems a bit too soon, much worse is the short list of names said to be under consideration.

Ready for Meet The Press With Keith Olbermann? How about Chris Matthews or David Gregory?

Don't try diving head- first into this talent pool, you'll break your neck.

Yes, according to the New York Times, MTP could very well be taken over by one of MSNBC's hotheaded lunatics:

But the list of potential names to assume the moderator role on “Meet the Press” is already well known. From inside NBC, the potential candidates include the evening news anchor, Brian Williams, who would be doing double duty (as Mr. Schieffer did for a time at CBS), correspondents David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell and MSNBC hosts like Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough and Keith Olbermann. Several of those names are already lightning rods for critics, however.

NBC could smooth the transition by offering the post on a temporary basis to Mr. Brokaw, who stepped down as the network’s anchor in 2004. Because of past associations both with NBC and Mr. Zucker, Katie Couric will also very likely be mentioned as a possibility, with her tenure as the anchor of the “CBS Evening News” widely expected to end sometime in the next year.

In planning election coverage without Mr. Russert, NBC has him to thank. He was widely regarded as a good judge of talent and a good mentor at the network, and the list of successors includes many people, including Ms. Couric and Gwen Ifill of PBS, whom he recruited or encouraged.

Apparently, the network news business has something in common with talk radio: neither has established a bench of bona fide future talent ready to step in when the need arises. The fact that any of MSNBC's ultra- partisan, ratings- challenged eccentrics would even be considered for such a position is alarming.

At TVNewser, one can find a tally of suggestions from various pundits, with equally absurd suggestions. Katie Couric? Is that a joke?

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  • Yeah, it would be just as crazy as using a partisan like Tony Snow or Brit Hume to moderate a Sunday show. Oh wait...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16 June, 2008 09:37  

  • I don't know why you question Gregory's talent...or suggest he's one of the MSNBC "hotheads."

    I think he'd be a fine replacement for Russert.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17 June, 2008 18:43  

  • My suggestion to NBC: Hire someone from NPR. NPR correspondents tend to be liberal but relatively objective, certainly a better choice than NBC's home grown talent, which is either aged or overtly partisan.

    By Blogger Chromium, at 18 June, 2008 00:15  

  • If they do indeed use one of the three suggested, I would hope they get pulled from any daily show they might be doing. If they aren't, then the show will take on the appearance of a cable TV food fight and bring down both MTP and the host.

    Of the three mentioned I think I might prefer Gregory. The other two are too opinionated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 June, 2008 21:03  

  • How about some conservative this time who is not combative? How about Shepard Smith

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 21 June, 2008 07:27  

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