The Important Role of the EP in a Sunday Show’s Success

Meet the Press - Season 67In case you (too) missed it, a piece last week to The New Republic highlighted the often overlooked and actual reason for a Sunday show’s success: the executive producer.

With Chuck Todd’s debut as moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he and the network are furiously working to regain the #1 rating among Sunday public affairs programming – competing against ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” and CBS’s “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer – but a key component in that battle is the effectiveness of the show’s EP.

“In the world of Sunday shows, which have much smaller staffs than the typical network news program, the EP play an especially crucial role,” writes TNR’s Jason Zengerle. “While the anchor is the one asking senators and cabinet secretaries the tough questions, it’s the EP feeding those questions to the anchor’s earpiece—as well as doing the legwork to book those senators and cabinet secretaries as guests in the first place.”

Zengerle moves to John Reiss being named acting executive producer of “MTP,” replacing Rob Yarin, who served as a permanent EP during David Gregory’s final year as moderator, after Betsy Fischer Martin’s 11 year run in that role.

While Nielsen fast program ratings placed Todd’s “Meet the Press” debut as the top Sunday show this past weekend ahead of ABC and CBS, Zengerle calls it like it is. “Until Todd finds a permanent person for the job, it’s doubtful that MTP’s troubles will be fixed.”

For more, click on over to TNR.