getting on the phone with investment bankers, union leaders and CEOs. He wants to look
at the entire landscape of an issue and not
just read about it on the front page of The New
Gregory confesses that the research demands are a great
“I spent an hour with a high-level Wall Street CEO,
going over all the nuances and intricacies of how the financial industry works,” he says. “And as it’s happening, in the
back of my mind, I’m thinking: I’m getting this tutorial for
free. I’ll bet a lot of people would pay a fortune for something like this.”
a surprisingly no-frills structure that looks like
an old high school made of cinder blocks. At
6 feet 5 inches, Gregory looks as if he’d have to
duck to get around if he were any taller. He takes
Armey to the fabled Meet the Press greenroom—
smaller than you’d think, but with a lovely bagel/melon spread
served by an elegant gentleman in a tuxedo.
Gregory has been finishing his prep work for today’s
show for several hours now, having woken up at 5: 45 a.m.,
while his family was still asleep in his northwest D.C. neighborhood two minutes from the studio. He’ll go over his
research and read The Washington Post and The New York
Times, Washington Times and Los Angeles Times. He’ll run a
final check on news wires. He’ll consult with Fischer about
last-minute changes. Throughout the week, the potential
lineup changes as news events dictate, and it’s quite common for a guest to be booked as late as Friday.
“We really go down to the wire every week,” he says,
moments before the show begins. “It’s a different rhythm
than a daily show. But I love what a 20- or 25-minute interview allows for … to dig in deep. You can really develop your
questions to probe into the issues of the day. It’s still about
the rough-and-tumble of American politics, but it’s a much
more thoughtful way of examining it all.”
Indeed, Gregory is hardly shy about mixing it up, as
evidenced by his Bush-era White House sparring sessions.
For Meet the Press, he interviews Larry Summers, director of
the White House’s National Economic Council, for nearly
Each Sunday, Gregory
interviews the world’s top
newsmakers (opposite). As
NBC’s chief White House
he questioned President
George W. Bush in 2006.
Meet the Host
On the set, Gregory is in command, engaging Washington’s
power players by examining issues of the day with appropriate thoroughness and weight while still pacing the program
briskly. The show’s traditionally collegial tone is well preserved; it never devolves into a Crossfire-like volley of shouting and verbal grenade chucking. That spirit extends off the
“David, good to see you,” says former House majority
leader and native Texan Dick Armey, greeting Gregory with
a white Stetson hat firmly in hand, before appearing on the
show last spring.
“How have you been?” Gregory says with a warm smile.
He’s in the hallway of the NBC studio building in Washington,