Meet The Press

By | Nov 6, 2011

The first airing on television for the News show Meet The Press was on November 6, 1947. The first moderator as well as the show’s creator was journalist Martha Rountree. Ms Rountree would be the moderator until 1953. The first guest was James A. Farley, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Franklin Roosevelt’s postmaster general.

The first female guest was Elizabeth Bentley, a former Soviet spy. She was interviewed on program on September 12, 1948.

Since its inception the show has had 11 moderators including co-moderaters Roger Mudd and Marvin Kalb (1984-1985). Kalb role of moderator would last into 1987. Others to moderated are Ned Brooks (1953–1965), Lawrence E. Spivak (1966–1975), Bill Monroe (1975–1984), Chris Wallace (1987–1988), Garrick Utley (1989–1991), Tim Russert (1991–2008), Tom Brokaw (2008) and David Gregory (2008 – Present).

Tim Russert sat on the moderator’s seat the longest and had it not been for his untimely death on June 13, 2008 he would still be there. When Russert took over the show it was in decline. Under his leadership the show moved away from being a televised press conference to a hard hitting question and answer show.

Russert would end the show with the phrase “That’s all for today. We’ll be back next week. If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press.” He made it the number 1, Sunday Interview show and second only to CBS News Sunday Morning on Sunday morning.

Meet The Press is the longest running television network program.


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