NBC officially named David Gregory as the new permanent moderator of Meet the Press.
Tom Brokaw, who was tapped as interim host in June after the sudden death of longtime host and Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, introduced Gregory as the new moderator in the final minutes of Sunday's program, which featured an interview with President-elect Barack Obama.
In addition, Meet the Press' executive producer, Betsy Fischer, has extended her tenure, the network announced.
Gregory's ascendancy has been the worst-kept secret in journalism and political circles, although there was some speculation as late as a few weeks ago that Gregory might share the job with a team of moderators including NBC political director Chuck Todd.
Sitting across from Brokaw in the MTP Washington studios, Gregory, 38, called the job he lobbied for "a great honor" and vowed to continue Russert's mission to "hold leaders accountable."
"I'm not Tim," said Gregory, "But along with this great team I can work real hard to make 'em proud."
He added, "Tim always said to me, ‘Be respectful. But ask the tough questions and think of a follow-up. It's about preparation.’”
Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, seconded that advice. "Whenever you're interviewing a public figure, they know more about the subject than you do,” wrote Wallace in an e-mail message. “That makes it all the more important to research and 'game out' the interview beforehand with your staff so that you can try to break through their talking points, and get them to think and respond in real time."
In a statement announcing the moves, NBC News president Steve Capus said, "For 61 years, this program has played a vital role in our nation's political discourse and millions of Americans' Sunday mornings. We lost a legend this summer, and today we hand the program over to someone who has a true appreciation and respect for the Meet the Press legacy, and a keen sense of what it needs to be in the future. David and Betsy are first-rate and I'm thrilled to have them in their roles at a key time in the program's, and the country's, history."
Previously White House correspondent and a frequent MSNBC anchor and Today show contributor, Gregory has been with NBC News since 1995.
Fischer has been with MTP for 17 years and has served as executive producer since 2002.
Another Sunday morning host had some advice for Gregory. George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC's This Week posted a list of "Ten Things David Gregory Needs to Know" in his This Week blog Sunday morning.
10.) Monday night is the new Saturday
9.) Saturday Night Live is a pretty cool wake-up call
8.) Dennis Kucinich is a biter
7.) You'll never have to anchor another car chase -- ever
6.) No more OJ stories either
5.) Remember to wink at the camera when you say "stimulus package"
4.) Never let Chuck Todd drive you to work
3.) Don't sit Doris Kearns Goodwin next to David Broder. Long story
2.) Rapping with Karl Rove is a guaranteed bump during sweeps
1.) Most important, don't forget we move our clocks back next Sunday.
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