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Meet the Press
Meet the Press.png
Format Public affairs, news
Created by Martha Rountree[1][2] and Lawrence E. Spivak[1]
Presented by David Gregory (2008-present)
Theme music composer John Williams
Opening theme "The Pulse of Events"[3] (third part of The Mission)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 4,843 as of April 10, 2009
Executive producer(s) Betsy Fischer [4]
Producer(s) Rebecca Samuels and Michelle Jaconi[4]
Location(s) Washington, D.C.
Running time 53 minutes
Original channel NBC
Picture format SDTV (480i),
HDTV (1080i)
Original run November 6, 1947 – Present
External links
Official website
US Sunday Morning Talk Shows
ABC This Week
CBS Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer
Fox Fox News Sunday w/ Chris Wallace
NBC Meet the Press with David Gregory
CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley
Spanish Networks
Uni Al Punto

Meet the Press[5][6] is a weekly American television news/interview program produced by NBC. It is the longest-running television show in worldwide broadcasting history, having made its television debut on November 6, 1947.[7] It has been hosted by eleven moderators; the current host is David Gregory, who assumed the role in December 2008.[8]

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.[9]



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.[10]

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 NBC Universal 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.

Meet the Press is also available as an audio or video podcast[11], and is simulcast on radio stations by Westwood One.[12]


The following is the list of moderators for Meet the Press:[1]

Martha Rountree 1947 – 1953
Ned Brooks 1953 – 1965
Lawrence E. Spivak 1966 – 1975
Bill Monroe 1975 – 1984
Roger Mudd / Marvin Kalb
1984 – 1985
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 set, November 1975.

Meet the Press began on radio in 1945 as American Mercury Presents: Meet the Press[13], a program to promote The American Mercury, a magazine that Lawrence E. Spivak had bought in 1944. 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.[2]

On November 6, 1947 while still on the Mutual Broadcasting System, it was subsequently reincarnated on the NBC television network and renamed Meet the Press. The radio version also adopted the new name. Although some sources credit Mr. Spivak with the program's creation[1][7], Ms. 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.[2]

Meet the Press was originally presented as a 30-minute press conference with a single guest and a panel of questioners. Its first hostess 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. Mr. Spivak retired on November 9, 1975, and he 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 in 1987 and 1988, and Garrick Utley from 1989 through December 1, 1991.


Under Russert

The logo under Russert's anchoring.

Network officials, concerned for the show's future, turned to Tim Russert, the network's Washington bureau chief. He took over December 8, 1991, and remained until his death on June 13, 2008, serving as moderator longer than anyone in the program's history.[14]

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,[15][16] 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

After Russert

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

Interim moderators

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.[18] Following Russert's death, Tom Brokaw was named the interim moderator through the 2008 general elections.[19] 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.[20]

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.

Locations (outside of DC studios)


Notable guests and events

The following is a partial list of notable guests and milestones for the show.[1]

Frequent guests and panelists

Most frequent guests:[1]

Most frequent panelist appearances:[1]

  • David Broder of the Washington Post/401 times, his first appearance was in 1963
  • Robert Novak of the Chicago Sun Times/248 times

References and footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g 60th anniversary background information from
  2. ^ a b c Martha Rountree: Radio/Television Producer, Writer, Host from, a Paley Center for Media website
  3. ^ The Sounds of War, an April 2003 article from Slate
  4. ^ a b About Meet the Press
  5. ^ "Meet the Press: Cast & Details". TV Guide. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  6. ^ ""About Meet The Press"". Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  7. ^ a b Meet the Press: U.S. Public Affairs/Interview from the Museum of Broadcast Communications
  8. ^ Mike Allen (2 December, 2008). "Gregory to host 'Meet the Press'". Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  9. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named usatoday; see Help:Cite error.
  10. ^ David Paul Kuhn (2008-06-13). "Memorable Tim Russert moments". Politico. Retrieved 2008-06-14. 
  11. ^ Free audio and video downloaded to your PC or portable player from
  12. ^ Westwood One: Meet The Press from Westwood One
  13. ^ 60 Years Ago in News History: America Meets the Press] from the Newseum website
  14. ^ Fast facts about the longest-running program in TV history - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC -
  15. ^ In the Hot Seat (
  16. ^ Tim Russert's Commencement Address - CUA Office of Public Affairs
  17. ^
  18. ^ June 22: Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), political roundtable - Meet the Press, online at MSNBC -
  19. ^ "NBC's Tom Brokaw to moderate 'Meet the Press' through election". Retrieved 2008-06-22. 
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External links


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