‘Meet the Press’ Pays Tribute to Ousted Moderator David Gregory

'Meet the Press' Pays Tribute to Ousted Moderator David Gregory

NBC News

“I will miss him as a daily colleague, but know he will always be a friend,” fill-in host Andrea Mitchell told viewers Sunday morning

NBC's “Meet the Press” aired for the first time Sunday since David Gregory's exit, and there was no mention of Gregory at the start of the program. However, fill-in host Andrea Mitchell paid tribute to the ousted moderator and his 20-year career at the network near the end of the program.

“As you may be aware, David Gregory's final show as moderator of ‘Meet the Press’ was last Sunday. ‘Meet the Press’ makes a lot of history — and a great deal of it was with David at the helm since he started in December 2008,” Mitchell told viewers.

Mitchell, who is NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent, also looked back at Gregory's career with the network and praised his interview with Vice President Joe Biden, who came out in support of gay marriage, as well as the GOP primary debate that Gregory moderated in 2012.

Also read: Chuck Todd to Take Over ‘Meet the Press’ in September

“In 20 years with NBC News, David has done it all: The OJ Simpson trial, Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, ‘Today Show’ guest-hosting and, when the cameras weren't rolling, dead on-imitations of everyone from presidents of the United States to Tom Brokaw,” Mitchell continued. “Through all the years, David has been true to the traditions of the program and NBC News.”

Andrea Mitchell hosted "Meet the Press" on Sunday, August 17, 2014 (NBC News)

NBC News

Mitchell also mentioned a message that Gregory posted on social media announcing his departure. “On Thursday David tweeted ‘I leave NBC as I came. Humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is. I have great respect for my colleagues at NBC News and wish them all well. To the viewers, I say thank you.'”

Mitchell then said a personal goodbye to Gregory, “As he leaves NBC News for his next adventure, I will miss him as a daily colleague, but know he will always be a friend.”

Also read: Ann Curry Comforts David Gregory After ‘Meet the Press’ Boot

Gregory responded to the sendoff on Twitter. “My thanks to @mitchellreports and @meetthepress for their kind words this am. I will miss this chapter, but look 4ward 2 creating the new 1,” he tweeted Sunday morning.

On Thursday, hours after Gregory confirmed he was leaving the program, NBC announced that Chuck Todd would replace him — a move assumed by many.

Gregory became host of “Meet the Press” following the death of the previous moderator, Tim Russert.

For months, there had been speculation that NBC would replaced Gregory after the network's flagship Sunday news show slid to third place in the ratings behind CBS’ “Face The Nation” and ABC's “This Week,” with Gregory as moderator.

WASHINGTON - JULY 20: NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd (L) and NBC Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory discuss during a taping of "Meet the Press" at the NBC studio July 20, 2008 in Washington, DC. Todd and Gregory discussed topics related to the presidential election in November, 2008. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(L) Chuck Todd and (R) David Gregory (Credit: Getty Images)

The New York Post reported Sunday that Gregory “was paid $4 million to leave NBC and signed a contract not to speak out against the network.”

Todd, who is NBC News’ political director and hosts “Daily Rundown” on MSNBC, will officially take the helm on Sept. 7.