March 14, 2014

We've got a great opportunity! Politico reports that NBC News president Deborah Turness met with David Gregory Thursday to discuss how best to shore up Meet the Press:

Sources said that improvements to "Meet the Press" will be one of Turness's chief concerns on her two-day visit. The show's fourth-quarter ratings marked the lowest total viewers "Meet" has had in a fourth quarter since 1991. Its ratings in the coveted 25-to-54 demo were the lowest in the show's history.

'Boy, do you guys need a makeover!'

"Meet" has made some gains since then. For the first two months of the year, the show was the No. 1-rated public affairs program, averaging 3.269 million total viewers. Still, both Turness and the "Meet" team are aware that there's much work to be done.

I'm not sure they are aware. I think they walk in a fog of assumptions, particularly about how stupid viewers are. Take, for example, the segment at the top, where Gregory sits back and lets grifter Ralph Reed pretend that Republicans haven't done any harm to the country. Not only does he sit back, he joins the filibuster to make sure the Democrat doesn't get a word in edgewise.

Or his claim that he doesn't need no stinkin' fact-checks, because it's not his job. Or Chuck Todd's, for that matter.

Those of you in our C&L community know all the ways MTP fails because you faithfully read and comment on our stories every week. So let's crowdsource the solutions and send them off to Deb Turness. After all, if they want actual breathing, thinking viewers on Sunday morning, it wouldn't hurt for them to hear from a few of us.

I'll start with mine: Diversify the guest list. And by diversify, I don't mean tossing Andrea Mitchell on the show and thinking you've checked women off the list. I also don't mean criminals like Ralph Reed, who should never be taken seriously enough to make appearances as a 'pundit.'

No, I mean 'diversify.' Put some progressives and people of color on the show. And no, Deb. Progressive does not mean middle-of-the-road corporate Democrat. Over 50,000 people have signed my petition already. If you haven't, you can still sign.

Now you add yours and we'll put together a nice package of ideas for Deb, and send it with Nicole Belle's intro letter.

Update: Want to tweet your ideas directly? Here's a list you can use. Add the hashtag #MTPMakeover and tweet to these folks:

NBC News President Deborah Turness @deborahturness

Executive Producer Rob Yarin @RobYarin

Digital Producer Joe Toohey @joetoohey
NBC News Communications Director Erika Masonhall @ErikaMasonhall
Senior Producer Tom Lumley @TomLumley
Associate Producer Jordan J Frasier @jordanjfrasier
MTP Communications Director Meghan Pianta @megpianta
Producer Chris Donovan @chrisdonovan
MSNBC Executive Editor Richard Wolffe @richardwolffedc
Host David Gregory @davidgregory


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.