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NBC Should Not Replace Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Anytime Soon

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NBCUniversal chief executive, Jeff Shell, has floated the idea of replacing Chuck Todd on Meet the Press with Nicolle Wallace. 

“Two people familiar with the conversations told me that the NBCUniversal chief executive, Jeff Shell, had floated the notion of elevating Ms. Wallace to take over the prestige Sunday morning show “Meet the Press,” according to a report in the New York Times.

The piece then speculated that a move was not imminent, “An NBC executive said the current host, Chuck Todd, ‘has led the Sunday news-making and ratings battles for five years at the helm of ‘Meet the Press’ and will continue to do so.’”

In the political media landscape, this would be a seismic change. Todd is a familiar face on Sunday mornings. A habit, some would say. However, it’s hardly jarring that this idea has been discussed. 

NBC is bullish on Wallace and is giving her an aggressive push. Wallace is the main beneficiary of MSNBC’s new weekday lineup. The network is expanding Wallace’s Deadline: White House to two hours; Deadline will air from 5 – 7 p.m. ET. In the move, MTP Daily, hosted by Todd, moves to a much less desired 1 p.m. slot. 

The lineup change, as most in the industry would agree, is only the start of Wallace’s elevation.

Even if Wallace isn’t to immediately replace Todd on the prestige Meet the Press, it’s hard to imagine NBC not envisioning her, someday, as the heir apparent. But that move shouldn’t happen anytime soon. 

if Wallace were to replace Todd now, it would likely result in viewer-frustration. In 2020, if a television program works, don’t tweak it. Todd’s run continues to draw large viewership. In Q2 for 2020, Meet the Press, with 3.8 million weekly viewers, topped all Sunday broadcast news shows. Todd is a recognizable name and face who has chemistry with a litany of frequent guests. Additionally, Wallace should first have to succeed at her next step.

With any push, comes pressure. Wallace has to now perform at a higher level. Weekdays, Deadline now competes with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Fox News’ The Five. In July, airing one hour a day, Deadline averaged an impressive 2 million viewers. The extended broadcast and stauncher competition could hurt that number. The Five, a July standout, drew primetime numbers at 5 p.m., with 3.3 million daily viewers. The Situation Room, which airs from 5 – 7, averaged 1.4 million; however, in the coveted 25-54 demographic, it ranked 14 to Deadline‘s 24. The Five came in, no joke, fifth.

Though Wallace is not a Trump supporter, she is unique at a network filled with liberal commentators. Wallace’s resume includes former White House Communications Director for President George W. Bush. While that sounds offsetting, it doesn’t shed NBC/MSNBC’s label as a far-left network. Nor does it mean center voters or conservatives will flock to her broadcasts.

To interview Bobby Burack, contact him on Twitter @burackbobby_.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

8 Comments

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  1. It sounds like my political views align more with Wallace than Todd. That said, is NBC dumb? By all accounts, Meet the Press is successful, yet they are going to toy with it, including contemplating replacing the host? If a stock is rising fast, the last thing I am doing is taking my money out and bailing.

  2. To suggest Wallace isn’t a Trump supporter is being kind. She loathes Trump and yearns for the days when the Bushies were in charge starting wars everywhere, mass immigration, and keeping the Washington establishment in charge and well oiled.

  3. Wallace is swimming in the deep end of the pool already…Meet The Press would SINK with her…but Todd is seriously dead man walking, and NBC knows it. Did you guys catch ANY of her interviews with Biden. She doesn’t know the meaning of “a follow-up” and all she could do was giggle along as Biden flashed his pearly whites!!!
    And don’t let her resumé lead you to believe she’s anything but wayyyyyy woke.

  4. Don’t know much about Wallace and honestly haven’t watched any Meet the Press w/ Chuck Todd, but indeed he is recognizable mostly as a numbers’ guy and data geek. Can’t believe this type of Sunday morning news show (exceptionally boring) still garnered about 4MM viewers per show, which is astonishing in this day and age and Todd should not be moved based on this fact alone.

    • You are right, in that it is amazing that Meet the Press still garners viewership in the millions despite the format being outdated. Chuck Todd’s days at MSNBC will be coming to an end within the next year or so. IF Trump wins re-election, MSNBC will want a partisan (even more extreme than usual, and Wallace fits that bill as an Anti-Trumper.

  5. I attended an event and met Nicole Wallace pre Covid…Long convo. She just spews Trump hatred every 2 seconds. One lady in the group (a Dem) calmly challenged one of her Trump claims as being false and she yelled at her in rage. When the lady fact checked on her phone Wallace told her to stop sucking up to Trump… Wallace is blinded by her hatred for Trump..She would clearly prefer socialism and Biden/ Bernie’s plan to a second Trump term. Serious TDS…I know she is currently perceived as a star at MSNBC but I think with increased exposure viewers will figure out that she is another 24/7 Trump hater and tune her out. Very very low IQ also..Spend 5 min talking to her and decide.

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