That, Mr. Gregory, is the sound of inevitability.
By now you've probably heard that the axe has finally, officially fallen on David Gregory's pitiful tenure as host of NBC's Meet the Press. A friend of mine at NBC in Miami said the e-mail from corporate went out this morning, meaning that in keeping with how this thing has played out from the very beginning the suits at the network were well behind everyone in informing their people of what the fuck was going on. It's a crappy way to run a railroad, but not at all unexpected given NBC's track record of sociopathically mismanaging the exit of top-tier talent. As I wrote a couple of days ago, just ask Ann Curry and Conan O'Brien. You'd actually think NBC would've learned its lesson after the disastrous impact that Ann Curry crying on national television had on the Today show.
No one's going to mourn Gregory on MTP and certainly no one outside of the Beltway is going to celebrate the predictable elevation of Chuck Todd as his successor, but in keeping with tradition Gregory didn't just leave the show -- he was so damn humiliated by the treatment he received in his final days that he left NBC entirely after 20 years. Again, you may not be a fan of Gregory but he deserved better than the treatment he got. As someone Deborah Turness personally went out of her way to publicly embrace and promise that she had his back -- which was of course bullshit -- he shouldn't have been fucked over at the end as profoundly as he was.
Word is that Gregory was furious with the way the suits refused to either confirm or deny the rumors about him losing his MTP gig once they surfaced, leaving him to twist in the wind, and that was what caused him to just negotiate an exit from NBC altogether. How shitty is NBC being about this? One inside source says the network won't even allow Gregory the opportunity to host a final show and say goodbye for fear of another Ann Curry moment. “There’s no reason for it, for them to allow him to be disparaged and brutalized in the media is reprehensible. It’s disgusting and uncalled for,” says the source.
Obviously there's no need to cry too hard for the guy seeing as how while you're probably working two jobs just to avoid feeding your family Alpo for dinner, Gregory will almost certainly be making a shitload of money to sit around and do nothing since he almost certainly took a huge buyout. He also probably already has a new job lined up compliments of NBC's former chief incompetent, Jeff Zucker, who's now at CNN.
Still, as usual with NBC, there are bigger concerns here than Gregory. NBC has now allowed the dismissal or "reassignment" of three star players to explode into a media spectacle. If you're somebody who works within the four walls of 30 Rock or at one of its satellites -- or you're considering taking a gig at NBC -- you're now well aware that when your bosses tell you they're behind you 100% that's only so that they'll be in a better position to push you out the door and into an oncoming bus.
In other words, good luck, Chuck. Remember, NBC has complete faith in you.