For more than 60 years, Americans have turned to network television on Sunday morning for intelligent, insightful discourse on issues of politics and public policy. A proud history, however, does not guarantee future success in a digital world and a dramatically changing television landscape.
On this edition of The Kalb Report, moderator Marvin Kalb explores the past, present, and future of Sunday talk with the hosts of the two highest-rated and longest-airing public affairs programs: Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press and John Dickerson of CBS’s Face the Nation.
The Kalb Report will take place on Monday, November 9, at 8 p.m. eastern time, in the main ballroom of the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, in Washington, D.C.
“As a former moderator of Meet the Press, I am especially interested in Sunday morning interview programs—how have they changed and why?” said Kalb. “There are few places on network television for long, substantive interviews. In the 1980’s we thrived on long interviews, running 20 or 25 minutes. But not today. Why?”
Meet the Press is the longest-running program in television history, having first aired in 1947, when the country was just two years removed from World War II and Harry S. Truman was in the White House. Face the Nation was created by legendary CBS President Dr. Frank Stanton and first aired in 1954, just a year after the end of the Korean War, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Chuck Todd replaced David Gregory as host of NBC’s Meet the Press in September 2014. Todd is also responsible for all aspects of the network’s political coverage and serves as political analyst for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and for TODAY. Before assuming his role on Meet the Press, Todd served as the network’s chief White House correspondent. John Dickerson succeeded the legendary Bob Schieffer, who retired from CBS News as anchor of Face the Nation in June 2015. Dickerson joined CBS News in 2009 as an on-air political analyst and is now the network’s political director, as well as a contributor to Slate magazine and its podcast, “The Political Gabfest.”