Longtime NBC personality Chuck Todd is reportedly on the chopping block at the network as top brass pursue a shakeup at his poorly rated Sunday show “Meet The Press.”
David Gelles, an ex-CNN staffer who recently took over as the new executive producer at “Meet The Press,” is considering whether to retain Todd as his “first order of business,” a report said on Tuesday.
Todd could be forced out despite recently signing a two-year contract extension at NBC.
Sources told the Daily Beast’s “Confider” newsletter that Todd has “baffled many at NBC with how long he’s remained atop the struggling show.” Gelles was purportedly tapped to fix a ratings drain at “Meet The Press,” with viewership down 21% compared to last year.
“At what point does anyone have the balls to say ‘Maybe the problem is the face of it’?” an unnamed “Meet the Press” source told the Daily Beast.
Longtime NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker is “being groomed to replace Todd” if he is removed as anchor, the outlet reported, citing network insiders. Welker is slated to expand her hosting duties ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
The Post has reached out to NBC for further comment on the report.
NBC News previously downsized Todd’s role in May by shifting “Meet the Press Daily,” the version of the show airing on weekdays, to a digital-only format. The show had previously occupied MSNBC’s 1 p.m. time slot.
The sources pointed to that change, as well as an incident in which comedian Trevor Noah mocked Todd while hosting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, as a sign that he has fallen out of favor with the public.
During the dinner, Noah poked fun at Todd by asking him, “How are you doing?” before dropping the punch line.
“I’d ask a follow-up, but I know you don’t know what those are,” Noah quipped.
The recent change to “Meet The Press Daily” wasn’t its first major shakeup. Network brass previously shifted the show from 5 p.m. to 1 p.m. in a decision that caused “hand wringing at the network,” Page Six reported in August 2020.
“Chuck can be very difficult — he’s very opinionated — and that has strained some of the relationships internally,” an insider told Page Six at the time.
The Daily Beast’s report also noted the show’s previous executive producer, John Reiss, was reassigned to NBC’s streaming service due to the Todd-led show’s ratings woes.
NBC pushed back in a statement – asserting that Reiss was simply seeking a fresh role and that Welker and Todd are already collaborators on election coverage.
“After being the EP of the Sunday broadcast for eight years, at the end of his contract, John Reiss was looking for a different opportunity within the MTP franchise,” a NBC News spokesperson said in a statement to the Daily Beast.
“Kristen Welker is the co-host of Meet the Press NOW on NBC News NOW and has been since the show launched. And she and Chuck have been leading NBC News NOW’s election specials all year long,” the statement added.
“Meet The Press” is the longest-running program on television, debuting in 1947. Todd has anchored the show since 2014.