Jon Stewart Confirms NBC News Pursued Him as ‘Meet the Press’ Replacement

john_stewart(6)In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart confirmed that NBC News approached him to replace David Gregory as moderator of “Meet the Press.”

It was first reported earlier this month by New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman that NBC News’ president Deborah Turness pursued Stewart in the network’s efforts to boost the show’s ratings. Sherman cited three unnamed senior television sources, with one saying that NBC was “ready to back the Brink’s truck up.”

Stewart confirmed the offer during a recent interview with Andy Greene, who writes:

In an new interview with Rolling Stone, Stewart confirms that there were indeed discussions. “My guess is they were casting as wide and as weird a net as they could,” he says. “I’m sure part of them was thinking, ‘Why don’t we just make it a variety show?'”

Stewart says he never seriously considered taking the gig. “I felt like that was one of those situations,” he says, “where someone says, ‘We really like what you do. Why don’t you come over here and do something different, maybe something you don’t do as well, for us?’  I can understand notionally where it comes from. News and entertainment have melded in a way. But they would be overcompensating on the entertainment side. That’s certainly not an outlandish decision, although I don’t necessarily think that’s the best direction for it.”

For the preview piece ahead of next week’s issue, click here.