When NBC finally wised up and kicked David Gregory to the curb, Peacock boss Deborah Turness almost went way outside the box with Gregory's replacement.
In the end, she went with the safe (i.e. boring) hire of beltway boy Chuck Todd.
But, Todd was the second choice behind comedian Jon Stewart.
The NY Magazine says that Turness held very quiet negotiations with Stewart about hosting ‘Meet the Press,’ according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks.
NY Mag writes, “One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually ‘anything’ to bring him over. ‘They were ready to back the Brink’s 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.”
The article goes on to say, “Stewart, whose Comedy Central contract extends through next year, declined NBC’s aggressive courtship. He probably recognized that much of his audience wouldn’t rush to turn on their televisions early on a Sunday morning."
One TV executive emailed FTVLive saying, "the idea that NBC wanted to hire a comedian to host Meet the Press makes perfect sense. NBC News has been a joke for years."