Margaret Brennan Marks 5 Years as Moderator of Face the Nation

By Mark Mwachiro 

Margaret Brennan celebrated her five-year anniversary as Face the Nation moderator in February. Over the past three years, Face the Nation has held strong as the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program (although it trails ABC and NBC season to-date in Adults 25-54).

Speaking to People magazine, Brennan says, “I’m not going to waste people’s time on Sunday…I owe it to them to try to get answers, to focus on the issues of substance and importance, not just the shiny objects.”

She credits the show’s success to her female leadership team, which comprises executive producer Mary Hager, technical producer Laura Foran, and senior producers Anne Hsu, Avery Miller, and Carol Ross Joynt. In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable , Brennan says they are an “amazing group of women,” adding a superhero twist to it, referencing the collective unit as “a group of wonder women behind Face the Nation.”

Equating her time on Face the Nation to her firstborn’s child age, Brennan still feels like the show is still young, saying, “it doesn’t feel like the baby’s that old.”

She does note in that short timespan, they have covered a lot of news. “If you look at the amount of history that we have covered in our five years, it’s pretty incredible. I certainly didn’t expect that,” said Brennan. “When I slipped into the moderator role, we were in the still very chaotic part of the Trump administration, pre-pandemic. I had been a White House correspondent for the Obama administration and the Trump administration, and I had gotten used to that frenetic pace. And I anticipated that for the show. But I didn’t anticipate the gravity of the world-changing events that we would cover.”

Brennan notes that the show found its groove during the pandemic, and in her five years as the moderator, she has changed, but the show, despite the volume of news covered, has stayed true to its principal foundations.

“The sensibility of the show remains true to just that, those same foundational things we talked about when I stepped into it, which was context, perspective, civil conversation — things that I fundamentally believe we have to bring back as a country,” she remarked.