Cuts at NBC’s Washington Bureau?

In a must read, the New York Post’s Claire Atkinson writes about cutbacks at NBC’s DC Bureau…

The current moves are not the first time Turness has irked journalists under her command.

NBC veterans have complained privately that Turness is not serious enough, sources said.

“Instead of getting better, NBC News has been getting worse,” said one executive. “It’s a mess.”

The grumblings are centered on Turness’ more aggressive tabloid style.

One senior NBC News executive was so outraged by her changes that he went over her head to complain to her superiors that the two simply can’t work together.

NBC News has been accused of checkbook journalism for landing key videos and interviews. The network denied paying for interviews.

I’m going to stop here and point out that the checkbook journalism charge isn’t new and it hasn’t been exclusively aimed at NBC. This smells to me more like trying to unfairly stack the deck against NBC.

The move to cut jobs has morale low, sources said.

Particularly distressed by the changes is the DC bureau team, whose duties include providing political coverage to “Nightly News with Brian Williams” and Sunday talk show “Meet The Press.”

Turness has been trying to figure out the future for David Gregory’s “Meet the Press,” with options including bringing in MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for a Sunday show, or blowing up the entire franchise and trying something completely different, sources familiar with the situation said.

The jury is still out on what to do as Turness still hasn’t decided, these sources added.

I can’t see Turness wanting to be known as the network news president that killed off the longest running TV series in the history of American broadcast TV. Replacing David Gregory? That’s another story entirely…

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28 Responses to “Cuts at NBC’s Washington Bureau?”

  1. I agree they aren’t going to dump MTP and that Gregory is the likely scapegoat; and not a totally unworthy one; for the shows ratings decline.

    The obvious in house replacement is Chuck Todd. If they decide to go outside the network the field opens up a lot. If they could steal Jake Tapper from CNN….

    As for Joe and Mika, that would be a joke. What works well as a morning chat show doesn’t make it as a serious Sunday morning political discussion show.

    The story paints a picture of Turness that makes her look a lot like Jeff Zucker over at CNN.

  2. bushleaguer Says:

    I can’t imagine bringing in Joe and Mika….that would be worse than Gregory is now.

    I’m surprised that Chris Wallace hasn’t been able to gain more ground on MTP……Wallace does a great job at hammering away at both sides when he does interviews.

  3. Chris Wallace made the fatal mistake of joining Fox News and flushing his journalistic credibility down the tubes. No one takes him seriously but Fox viewers, and most people don’t even know his show is on Fox Broadcast, not The Mothership.

  4. ^That’s a loss for the viewing public. Chris Wallace does a good job.

    David Gregory is a train wreck. We watch it only occasionally whereas we always watched it regularly when Tim Russert was on. Even if they brought on Chuck Todd he would have to work hard to take off his partisan hat because he has shown his colors pretty regularly on MSNBC for me. But I am hard pressed to see who lose NBC has that they could bring on to hold the standard of MTP.

  5. and most people don’t even know his show is on Fox Broadcast..,

    I think you have that bass ackwards. Most people pay little attention to the details of cable news and only know Chris Wallace as the guy on their local Fox station Sunday mornings or on election nights.

    MTP has long been a juggernaut of viewer habit and, while David Gregory is clearly not a good fit, it could be that the tradition of this sort of programme is waning and it won’t much natter whose butt gets that host chair.

  6. Not enough Fox stations have news on Sunday mornings. Without the lead-in, I don’t see FNS’s ratings picking up much. But when you add in cable replays, FNS gets more viewers than the competition (excluding MTP cable replays).

  7. it could be that the tradition of this sort of programme is waning and it won’t much natter whose butt gets that host chair.

    ^^You may be right Al. I sometimes watch the panels; if they have journalists and not pundits or politicians; but never the politician interviews. Politicians spouting self serving talking points is not must watch TV – at least for me.

  8. add in cable replays, FNS gets more viewers than the competition (excluding MTP cable replays).

    Really? I’m surprised. I guess this makes sense, just never think of watching FNS replays on FNC. My choice of late has been Sunday Morning on CBS, so I’m wouldn’t be helping Wallace’s ratings, either, if I had a meter.

    In Virginia I get Fox5 DC and in Michigan Fox2 Detroit. Both have good morning news programmes that lead into FNS. I forget that this isn’t true in most markets.

  9. Even if they brought on Chuck Todd he would have to work hard to take off his partisan hat because he has shown his colors pretty regularly on MSNBC for me.

    Liberals hate Chuck Todd, so I guess he’s doing it right.

    I always watch FNS and MTP on the cable channels. I often forget they’re on broadcast.

  10. “Liberals hate Chuck Todd, so I guess he’s doing it right.”

    ^^Some liberals Joe; some liberals. I love Todd and I’m no conservative.

  11. But generalities seem to thrive in this place, whimsical though they are.

  12. The anti-FNC blather is the essence of ICN 2.0 Institutional Trolling.

  13. I’ve always thought David Gregory was awful but who could they replace him with? Chuck Todd? No. He’s no better. As for liberals not liking him, I can only imagine those are hard core MSNBC liberals who enjoy Matthews calling everybody a racist and nothing less.

    Tapper is my favorite but I don’t think he’s tough enough/has the personality to host a show like MTP. I really can’t think of anyone I’d think would be worth a sh!t at the job.

  14. Tapper was a fan favorite hosting ABC’s THIS WEEK but he just arrived at CNN and won’t be going anywhere.

  15. “moves that could include axing some senior on-air talent”

    Is the key phrase in the article. Bet it sends some new shivers down some old spines.

  16. KevinEhsani_TPB Says:

    Chris Matthews is basically Chuck Todd’s clone… Both are natural, equal opportunity hacks. Granted, Matthews has had his love affair with Obama (since 2007), but he just follows the mainstream corporate media narrative. He goes the way the wind blows over there, to a lesser extent. If they love Obama, he’s twinkle eyed about him. If they hate him, hes attacking the GOP to take the focus off of him and not propping him up as much. He was like that with George Bush (prior to 2007), even in the midst of his approval collapse.

  17. I think Matthews liked Bush – still does – but believes that, in his mind, the evil “Cheeney” and neocons manipulated him.

    It seems to be the same with Obama. He’ll defend Obama but go after the people around him.

    He does have a “cult of the Presidency” weakness that isn’t, for me, corporate media driven. It’s how he views the presidency.

    Read his books on JFK. Same thing. He praises JFK to high heaven but goes after the advisers for the failures, e.g., Bay of Pigs, et cetera.

  18. Nixon - niila niihpikiiookwa meentwasiaani Says:

    The anti-FNC blather is the essence of ICN 2.0 Institutional Trolling.

    Some of it reads like something that would come out of an institution.

  19. Been two years since I’ve watch a morning of Joe. I was a big fan the first years. They leaned forward and I repelled at their breath.

  20. Chris Matthews is about as dissimilar to Chuck Todd as any two people can be, other than they love politics.

  21. He does have a “cult of the Presidency” weakness that isn’t, for me, corporate media driven. It’s how he views the presidency.

    That’s an excellent point..he’s like that about Reagan, too. An interesting angle I’d never thought of.

  22. When he’s not off his meds, Chis is patriotic and a bit sentimental.

  23. […] junkies might get a chance soon since there are rumors NBC might be bringing changes to Gregory’s Meet The Press . (Those rumors include potentially bringing the Morning Joe team to […]

  24. […] junkies might get a chance soon since there are rumors NBC might be bringing changes to Gregory’s Meet The Press. (Those rumors include potentially bringing the Morning Joe team […]

  25. Rumor is Phil Griffin is advising the brass that Christine Amanpour is just the person to host a Sunday show. Offering to trade CNN Brian Williams for her and a bag of magic beans.

  26. The problem with almost all potential hosts is that they have flaunted their particular biases either on MSNBC or other stations, and none have the street-smart, tough image of the former host. Perhaps MTP was a one-trick pony, and it’s time has come and gone. As for me, I am a former Morning Joe fan who no longer can stand to watch Mika preach and smirk, and attempt to emulate her hero Michelle by copying her fashion choices and other agendas – too self-righteous for me, especially after reading her book, which was terrible (and I can rarely read a book in which I can’t find some value). They would be a disaster on MTP.

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