Cable Guys Won't Likely Fill Russert's Seat

Execs don't want pundits messing with 'pristine' NBC News
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2008 3:12 PM CDT
Chris Matthews, left, hosts MSNBC's "Hardball" with, NBC News' political director Chuck Todd, center, and Joe Scarborough.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Early word on Tim Russert's Meet the Press successor focused on in-house candidates, like Chris Matthews, David Gregory, or Joe Scarborough. But one insider now tells Variety that there’s “no way” a cable personality will land the gig. NBC’s broadcast division would rather stay “pristine”—free from the punditry that hovers around MSNBC.

Of the three, former correspondent Gregory is seen as having the best shot, because he earned his reputation on network news, and hasn’t been in the cable game long. It will in any case be hard to fill Russert’s shoes—as other networks' attempts to catch him in the ratings have shown. Russert's closest competitor, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, trailed him by an average 1 million viewers.