‘Meet The Press’ Suffers Worst Ratings in 18 Years


Yes, the worst ratings in 18 years. What story is this telling us? Are Americans just getting tired of the news? Could it be that only Reality TV works now? Or maybe another sign of viewers growing tired of liberals?

There have been some excellent moderators on “Meet The Press,” and it has changed format over the years.

The moderators were, starting in 1947, Martha Rountree, Ned Brooks, Lawrence Spivac, Bill Monroe, Roger Mudd, Marvin Kalb, Chris Wallace, Garrick Utley, Tim Russert, Tom Brokaw and now David Gregory.

Lawrence E. Spivak and Tim Russert are probably rolling over in their graves to hear the latest news of the Sunday program’s demise in the ratings.

The decades-old Sunday standard has fallen on hard times, and that is a mild way of putting it. It was reported Wednesday that last week it suffered its worst ratings in nearly two decades. The latest moderator, ultra-liberal David Gregory suffered an embarrassing third-place ratings finish for the third straight week, according to the website Mediaite.

The lowest third-place finish of the three as “Meet the Press” continues to lose thousands of viewers a week and slides into the ratings abyss.

“Meet the Press” is the longest-running program on network television.

Moderators over the years
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

In fact, the overall rating hit a 21-year low, finishing behind CBS’ “Face the Nation” with veteran correspondent Bob Schieffer, and ABC’s “This Week” with former Clinton White House aide, George Stephanopoulos, on each of the last three Sundays.

“Fox News Sunday” on the Fox News Channel cable (Chris Wallace) is the clear leader of the four Sunday programs in the ratings race.

Nielsen estimates the total viewing audience for “Meet the Press” at 2.913 million with only 854,000 in the all-important demographic of 25 to 54, the show’s worst performance in 18 years for that demographic, Mediaite reports.

Following the death of popular host Tim Russert, Brian Williams hosted one week, and then Tom Brokaw filled in for a short time, and then liberal host David Gregory took the moderator’s chair in December, 2008.

It appears that Gregory may be on the verge of joining the former “This Week” hostess, Christine Amanpour, whose stuffy personality and ratings disaster forced her out two years ago in favor of Stephanopoulos.

Greg Gutfield of Fox’s “The Five” described David Gregory’s “Meet the Press” as “the Sunday show for people who eat Kale,” Mediaite adds.

That is putting salt in open wounds.


Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. His BS in journalism from University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Dwight has 30 years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. A native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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