NBC’s Meet the Press has been airing since 1947, and newscaster Chuck Todd has been hosting since 2014.
But that may not be the case for long. The program has seen some shakeups recently, despite its longevity. In May, the spinoff MTP Daily moved from the cable network MSNBC to the streaming service NBC News Now… and Todd suffered an embarrassing blow to his career.
Two months later, Todd is dealing with another persistent problem for the program: a major decline in ratings.
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In the second quarter of this year, Todd pulled the smallest audience of his eight-year tenure as host, Radar Online reported exclusively.
From April through June, Todd reportedly netted 2.4 million total viewers, a paltry number for a Sunday program on a satellite network.
Even worse, Todd reportedly attracted only 492,000 total viewers in advertisers’ favorite demographic: those between the ages of 25 and 54.
Meet the Press has long been trailing similar programs in the same timeslot. Last year, the NBC program attracted about 200,000 fewer total viewers than CBS News’ Face the Nation on average, according to Nielsen data shared with AdWeek in December.
Still, Meet the Press reportedly attracted more demo viewers than Face the Nation last year. Now Todd has lost his lead in this crucial demographic.
Industry bigwigs are openly speculating about Todd’s prospects at NBC News.
“This does not augur well for Chuck,” one anonymous insider told Radar Online. “Chuck lost his gig at MSNBC and the guise that he’d rather leave MSNBC completely and focus on Meet the Press on Sunday.”
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The newscaster David Gregory hosted Meet the Press before Todd’s reign, and Gregory was dismissed amid a ratings downturn.
The television insider went on to compare Todd to Gregory… and wondered about the program’s future prospects.
“But when you are focusing on the Sunday show and it is in freefall, perhaps you have to consider whether it is you and not the show itself that is driving viewers away. NBC News Chairman Cesar Conde must really be concerned. This is like David Gregory all over again.”
NBC attracted an unexpectedly high number of total viewers across the year 2021, according to Nielsen data shared with Variety. The network saw its ratings rise 9 percent from the previous year.
Todd, in particular, peaked at 4 million total viewers during the first quarter of 2017, according to Radar Online.
At the time, Todd enjoyed a combative relationship with the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump. He was described by the former president as “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd.”
“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd is not at the top of his game,” Trump tweeted in 2020.
He was right.