Report: Gregory is man for 'Press' post

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NBC News denied Monday night that it was close to naming its chief White House correspondent David Gregory as "Meet the Press" moderator. The Huffington Post reported that Gregory would get the job.

"We have no announcement to make, and we are not making an announcement (today)," an NBC News spokeswoman said Monday night.

The decision on the permanent replacement for the late Tim Russert is expected sometime this week, possibly on Sunday's "Meet the Press." Former "NBC Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw has been filling in as moderator since Russert's death in June.

Gregory joined NBC News in 1995. Well known for his battles with White House press secretaries in the Bush administration, Gregory has covered just about every major story of the past 13 years and has subbed on "Today" and the weekend "Nightly News." He also served as a substitute "Meet the Press" moderator during the Russert era.

Most recently, Gregory has raised his profile on MSNBC. He anchored the 6 p.m. "Road to the White House" nightly newscast and, after the implosion of the Chris Matthews/Keith Olbermann anchoring team in August, was the primary anchor for MSNBC's debate and Election Night coverage.

The network also was reported to be considering NBC political director Chuck Todd, its veteran correspondent Andrea Mitchell and PBS' Gwen Ifill, among others.

"Meet the Press" is the acknowledged leader among the Sunday public affairs shows. In the November sweep, "Meet the Press" under Brokaw was the most-watched and top-rated of the shows by a comfortable margin despite the fact that ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" put in its best November sweep rating in eight years.

"Meet the Press" averaged 4.5 million viewers in November, compared with 3.5 million for "This Week," 3.1 million for CBS' "Face the Nation" and 1.5 million for "Fox News Sunday." It was the best viewership for the November sweep since 2004; all the Sunday shows were up in viewership year-over-year.
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