'Meet the Press' stays on top

With David Gregory, NBC show still outpacing rivals

NEW YORK -- The change in moderators hasn't hurt the standing of NBC's "Meet the Press."

The long-running public affairs program, now moderated by David Gregory, continues to stomp its rivals -- be they ABC's "This Week," CBS' "Face the Nation" or "Fox News Sunday." "Meet the Press" has been the No. 1 Sunday public affairs program for 378 of the past 380 weeks under longtime moderator Tim Russert, Tom Brokaw and now Gregory.

"Meet the Press" averaged 4.8 million viewers and a 1.4 rating in the adults 25-54 demographic on Dec. 21, Nielsen said Monday. That's up week-over-week in viewers and the demo. (Ratings for this past Sunday have yet to be released.)

"This Week" was second with 3.7 million viewers and a 1.0. "Face the Nation" averaged 3.1 million viewers and an 0.8 rating, and "Fox News Sunday" averaged 1.6 million viewers and a 0.5 rating. Even on MSNBC, where "Meet the Press" airs on cable, it beat CNN's "Late Edition" on Dec. 21 (782,000 viewers for "MTP" to 753,000 for "Edition").

Gregory took over as moderator after the Dec. 9 exit of Brokaw, the former NBC News anchor who stepped in on an interim basis after Russert's death June 13.