When the notion of politicians and public officials responding to unscripted questions from a panel of journalists was completely new, the longest-running TV show premiered. And leaders way back then were meant to answer truthfully.
That show is Meet the Press, its first broadcast was on the Mutual Broadcasting System in 1945, and it was in radio form. The show was first broadcast on TV on November 6, 1947, and then every week from 12 September 1948 onwards.
Started by Lawrence E. Spivak, who appeared until 1975 on every show as either moderator or panel member, the show has the privilege of having every US President since Kennedy present on the program during his career.
What Is Meet the Press?
Meet the Press is a weekly news/interview program broadcast on NBC on American television. Though the new format makes little reference to the original episode in 1947, it is the longest-running show in television history.
In Washington, D.C., around the nation and even the globe, the show focuses on interviews with politicians on matters of economics, politics, foreign policy, and other public affairs, alongside panel discussions that include viewpoints and discussion.
It comes from the headquarters of NBC in Washington, D.C. (WRC-TV). The survival of Meet the Press is attributed in relation to the fact that during what was just the second official “network television season” for American TV, the show premiered.
It was the first news show on a live TV network on which a current President of the United States showed up; this happened on its November 9, 1975 broadcast featuring Gerald Ford.
Mainly a half-hour program for much of its history, the show extended to one hour beginning with the September 20, 1992 broadcast. The program’s structure consists of an extensive interview with the host, one-on-one.
It usually includes a roundtable discussion or one-on-two interview with personalities with opposition positions. This can include members of Congress from opposite sides of the spectrum or political analysts with opposing views.
The show also offers thorough reviews of the reality behind political and general news reports, as part of a segment called the “Data Download“, which was introduced after Chuck Todd assumed duties as moderator.
It is conducted on a touchscreen within the main set.
To date, 12 different moderators have hosted the program starting with creator Martha Rountree. Since 2014, the show’s host is Chuck Todd, who also acts as NBC News political director.
The hour-long program currently airs on Sundays at 9:00 a.m. in most markets live in the Eastern Time Zone and elsewhere on tape delay. Due to network coverage of sporting events occurring outside the U.S., Meet the Press is also sometimes pre-empted.
This TV show is also rebroadcast at 6:00 p.m. on Sundays and 4:00 a.m. on Mondays on MSNBC, whose audio feed is also simulated on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, Eastern Time.
The program is also simulcast as part of its replays of the Sunday morning talk shows by Westwood One to multiple radio stations across the United States, and also on C-SPAN Radio.
Every president since Kennedy has appeared on the program. In February 2016, Donald Trump was on it as a presidential candidate and in June 2019 as a US president.
In March 2020, Joe Biden, who was just four years old when the show launched, was on it. Meet the Press has managed to set the tone all these years: making elected officials answer questions without rehearsals so you get real answers.