Who Will Replace Tim Russert On “Meet The Press”?

Even though the journalism world, as well as the political one, is still reeling from the untimely death of Tim Russert, the fact is the program he hosted, “Meet The Press”, must go on.  Someone has to replace Russert, though it will be impossible to fill his shoes.

Mr. Russert was not only the moderator of “Meet the Press,” television’s most successful political talk show, he was also the chief of NBC’s Washington bureau, responsible for the hiring of staff members and directing its operations. More significantly, he was NBC’s public face on politics, appearing regularly on the network’s full range of programs, including the “Today” show, NBC’s “Nightly News,” and on its cable news channel MSNBC.

“It’s going to take four or five people to replace Tim,” said Bob Schieffer, Mr. Russert’s competitor for two decades on CBS’s Sunday program, “Face the Nation,” in a telephone interview from a barge in the Burgundy region of France, where he was vacationing.

“They’ve got to find a moderator for ‘Meet the Press.’ They’ve got to find a manager for that bureau. They’ve got to find someone who understands as much about politics as Tim does and there aren’t many people who do. They’ve got to find someone who is willing to get up in the morning and go on the ‘Today’ show and do the ‘Nightly News’ and then stay up late to go on MSNBC.”

Jeff Zucker, the president of NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News, said the network was well aware of the issues it faced going into a pivotal presidential election.

“Nobody should even think about replacing Tim Russert,” he said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “What someone will need to do is find the next way to do ‘Meet the Press’ and provide political analysis. Anybody who thinks they can replace Tim Russert is kidding themselves.”

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