Meet the Press

Meet the Press Information

Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program for 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. It has been hosted by 11 moderators, first by Martha Rountree. The current host is David Gregory, who assumed the role in December 2008. The show got 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 music with 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. These shows help fulfill the obligations of the networks to provide a public service to the community.

Meet the Press is the highest-rated of the American television Sunday morning talk shows.

The program's usual time slot over the NBC network is airing from 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 public affairs programing, and varies several weeks in the summer due to morning coverage of Les internationaux de France de Roland-Garros tennis or the Monaco Grand Prix by NBC Sports. The program also re-airs on MSNBC Sunday afternoons at 2pm ET and early Monday mornings 4am ET (also over the Sirius/XM Satellite Radio simulcast of MSNBC audio), 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 Dial Global, 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.


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. The show expanded to 60 minutes starting with the September 20, 1992 broadcast.

Occasionally, a final segment called "The Meet the Press Minute" was added. It was 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 and in the Philippines on Solar News Channel.

Meet the Press is also available as an audio or video podcast, and is simulcast on radio stations by Dial Global (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:

Martha Rountree 1947"1953
Ned Brooks 1953"1965
Lawrence E. Spivak 1966"1975
Bill Monroe 1975"1984
Roger Mudd & Marvin Kalb
Marvin Kalb 1985"1987
Chris Wallace 1987"1988
Garrick Utley 1989"1991
Tim Russert 1991"2008
Tom Brokaw 2008
David Gregory 2008"present


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 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, to date the program's only female moderator. She stepped down November 1, 1953, and was replaced by Ned Brooks, who remained as moderator until December 26, 1965. Spivak became the moderator on January 1, 1966, moving from his role as a permanent panelist. He retired on November 9, 1975, and was replaced by Bill Monroe, who stepped down on June 2, 1984.

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) in 1987 and 1988. Garrick Utley, then hosting Weekend Today, concurrently hosted Meet the Press from 1989 through December 1, 1991.

Under Russert

Network officials, concerned for the show's future, turned to Tim Russert, the network's Washington 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."

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). The 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.

Guest moderators

  • Andrea Mitchell (August 15, 2004)

After Russert

Mark Whitaker was named the Washington D.C. Bureau Chief and was given "executive oversight" of Meet the Press.

Interim Brokaw era

Brian Williams, the NBC Nightly News anchor, acted as moderator of the first show back after the June 15 memorial broadcast, 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 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 taking over full-time the following Sunday.

Under Gregory

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.

High-definition broadcasting

The set utilized from 1997 to 2010 had been designed as an experimental set for high-definition broadcasting and several episodes 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 DC studios)

  • 1988 Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 1989 United States-Soviet Summit on the island of Malta
  • 1989 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations in Paris
  • 1990 Helsinki Summit
  • 1992 Republican and Democratic conventions
  • 1993 Clinton-Yeltsin Summit in Vancouver
  • January 30, 1994 – Atlanta, Georgia (Super Bowl, Buffalo Bills went for and lost their 4th straight game; Russert publicly prayed on-air with his father)
  • September 16, 2001 – Camp David, Maryland (interview with then-Vice President Dick Cheney in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks)
  • January 18, 2004 – Polk County, 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 (2004 DNC, Barack Obama made an appearance on the show as he was going to give the keynote address)
  • August 29, 2004 – New York City (2004 RNC)
  • October 31, 2004 – New York City (2 days before the 2004 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, 2 days before the 2008 Iowa caucuses)
  • January 6, 2008 – New Hampshire (2 days before the New Hampshire primaries)
  • January 13, 2008 – South Carolina (interview with Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign)
  • January 20, 2008 – New York City (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 (Olympics)
  • August 24, 2008 – Denver, Colorado (Democratic National Convention)
  • August 31, 2008 – St. Paul, Minnesota (Republican National Convention)
  • September 7, 2008 – Wilmington, Delaware (Senator Joe Biden's appearance on the show)
  • October 26, 2008 – KWWL Studios 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's appearance on the show)
  • August 29, 2010 – New Orleans (Special broadcast five years after Hurricane Katrina, moderated by Brian Williams)
  • January 1, 2012 – Des Moines, Iowa (interview with Rick Santorum, 2 days before the 2012 Iowa caucuses)
  • January 8, 2012 – New Hampshire (2 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 TV interview occurred on Meet the Press on September 19, 1965, with the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

See also

  • The Mission (theme music)

References and footnotes

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Meet_the_Press" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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