It will be hard to replace Tim Russert, who led the top-rated Meet the Press for 17 years—but insiders are already guessing who will sit in his chair, the Los Angeles Times reports. Three on-air NBC personalities are reportedly possible: Race for the White House host David Gregory, Hardball's Chris Matthews, and Morning Joe's Joe Scarborough.
A Mathews/Gregory struggle would be particularly fierce, as both have lobbied for Russert's favor. "Tim was just a role model for me," Matthews said last night. NBC will likely avoid outside help, such as CBS' Katie Couric or ABC's George Stephanopoulos. But whoever wins will wear big shoes: Russert had 3.9 million viewers and controlled every aspect of the show.