NBC has mandated that "Meet the Press" host David Gregory, 43, undergo psychological testing because of low ratings, according to Page Six on Monday. NBC even went so far as to interview Gregory's wife in an effort to uncover the reasons why Gregory does not resonate with viewers.
NBC executives claim that their motive for interviewing Gregory's family members and friends is to ascertain insight "from people who know him best." However, even NBC employees felt that this was unusual and odd, especially since Gregory is a twenty year veteran of NBC News.
Gregory has had problems recently, such as when Glenn Greenwald lashed out at him for implying last June that he may be a criminal for assisting Edward Snowden as he leaked government secrets. In addtion, "Meet the Press" ratings have suffered and fallen behind those of "Face the Nation" and “This Week With George Stephaniopoulos."
Gergory admits that he has a particularly difficult challenge trying to fill the shoes of the late Tim Russert, whose ratings on "Meet the Press" were the highest of all the television news talk show hosts. Gregory says that he never has made an effort to replace Russert and is "doing" his "own thing:"
“I am fully aware that there are a lot of people who believe Tim Russert will never be replaced, and I’ve never tried to replace Tim Russert. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Tim and his legacy. And I’m doing my own thing, just like Tim did.”
Although he is having problems attaining respectable ratings, Gregory still rates better than other possible successors to Russert in audience tests, including White House correspondent Chuck Todd. Not that this gives any semblance of comfort to Gregory; but it just might give him the measure of time he needs to boost his ratings in a merciless media market.