Friday, June 26, 2009

'I'm Terribly Sorry, But David Gregory Had a Fit'

Looks like the pressure of following in Tim Russert's footsteps is getting to David Gregory. I guess Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews aren't the only egomaniacs at NBC.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was all set to appear this Sunday on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos until yesterday, when Scarborough canceled because David Gregory, the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," allegedly threw a fit.

"What is David Gregory so afraid of?" asked one network insider.

Stephanopoulos was first pitched to have Scarborough as a guest by Scarborough's "Morning Joe" co-host on MSNBC, Mika Brzezinski.

"About three weeks ago, George got a handwritten note in the mail and a copy of Scarborough's book, 'The Last Best Hope,' " said our source. "The note said, 'Would you consider putting Joe on your show?' "

Last week, the booking was finalized. "She [Brzezinski] said she checked with all the high-ups at NBC," said our source.

But on Wednesday night, Stephanopoulos was alerted there might be a problem. Scarborough is said to have informed him, "I'm terribly sorry, but David Gregory had a fit." Yesterday morning, Scarborough canceled his appearance, leaving Stephanopoulos scrambling to find a replacement guest.

Stephanopoulos declined to comment, but an ABC source said, " 'Meet the Press' has lost more than half a million viewers on David Gregory's watch. That explains his tantrum, but it does not excuse it."

Since Gregory took over on "Meet the Press" last December after Tim Russert's death, viewership of the still top-rated Sunday morning show has plummeted. "Meet" topped "This Week" by 2.2 million a year ago, compared to 240,000 this past Sunday.

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