Meet The Press, Now Without “With Tim Russert”

By Alissa Krinsky 

More than two weeks after the death of Tim Russert, Meet the Press continues its evolution.

This morning, for the first time since Russert’s passing, neither the show’s opening voiceover nor its opening graphic featured his name. Today’s voiceover announced, “From Jackson Hole, Wyoming…this is a special edition of Meet the Press, moderated today by Tom Brokaw.”

The initial plan was to keep Russert’s name intact until a permanent moderator was chosen (last week’s voiceover, for example, was “This is Meet the Press with Tim Russert. Sitting in today, Brian Williams.”). But with Brokaw volunteering to host the show through the 2008 Presidential election, the blueprint changed.

“Since we are now fortunate enough to have a permanent interim moderator in the talented Tom Brokaw (as opposed to a rotating host each week),” MTP Executive Producer Betsy Fischer tells TVNewser, “we think it makes sense.”

Fischer says that until a permanent host is named, the MTP graphic will remain without anyone’s name below it.

> More: Monday’s NYTimes includes a review of the program, and a thought about its future, from Alessandra Stanley: “…it makes sense to recast the job and return to the early days when guests really did meet the press, answering to a panel of inquisitors who together did what Mr. Russert did alone.”