“Meet the Press” went on without David Gregory on Sunday, and to be honest, the program didn’t miss a beat — at least not on the Nielsen sheets.
Of course, all national news shows have a secret weapon in the form of ongoing Ferguson, Mo. coverage, which offers gains or helps mask losses.
While the key 25-54 demo viewers decreased by two percent with Andrea Mitchell filling in on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” total viewers increased by 10 percent. “Meet the Press” had 2.661 million viewers, 735,000 in the demo, landing in third place — not unusual for the program.
The decrease in the demo was shared by CBS’ “Face the Nation”; although each Sunday show in the timeslot rose in total audience week-over-week.
ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” was tops among the competition, pulling in 3.021 million total viewers, 1.001 million in the demo, both up from last week. Those numbers mark a 15 percent increase in total viewers, and 21 percent up in the demo.
In second place was CBS’ “Face the Nation,” which had 2.94 million total viewers, 755,000 in the demo — slightly up in total audience but a touch down in the demo.
“Fox News Sunday” was fourth with 1.306 million, 401,000 in the demo, both up a bit from last week.
When compared to the same week in 2013, the four shows were all up in both measurements.
On Sunday, “Meet the Press” fill-in Mitchell paid tribute to her friend and now former NBC colleague: “As you may be aware, David Gregory’s final show as moderator of ‘Meet the Press’ was last Sunday,” she said. “‘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.”
She added a personal touch: “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.”
Last Thursday, Gregory made his exit from NBC official, tweeting: “I leave NBC as I came – humbled and grateful.”
Later in the day, NBC announced Chuck Todd would replace Gregory, marking a September start date.
Gregory already has a new gig, sort of. Politico Playbook reported on Thursday that the ousted “Meet the Press” host has been working with publisher Simon & Schuster since 2011 on a book about Jewish faith.
The book will likely hit shelves in 2015.