Speed Reads

The Sunday Show?

Report: NBC News courted Jon Stewart for Meet the Press

NBC News may have tried to take their venerable Sunday show Meet the Press in a whole new direction before ultimately going with NBC's own Chuck Todd as the show's newest host.

New York magazine reports that before settling on Todd, NBC first tried to get somebody else who has become very well known for his incisive interviews with politicians: Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.

Before choosing Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks. One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually "anything" to bring him over. "They were ready to back the Brinks truck up," the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart's agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. [New York]

Meet the Press remains stuck in third place among the Sunday talk shows. Chuck Todd just recently took over as host last month, following a six-year run by David Gregory, who took over following the sudden passing of longtime host Tim Russert in 2008.

Update: Chuck Todd has now posted a tongue-in-cheek response to the report on Twitter. --Eric Kleefeld