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News Link • Entertainment: Television (TV)

NBC Wanted to Hire Jon Stewart As Host of Meet the Press

• nymag.com

Despite an opening-week ratings spike from his exclusive sit-down interview with President Obama, the Todd-helmed show has settled back into third place behind ABC's This Week and CBS's Face the Nation. This has been frustrating to NBC News executives, who at one point had considered going in a radically different direction with the show.

Before choosing Todd, NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart about hosting Meet the Press, according to three senior television sources with knowledge of the talks. One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually "anything" to bring him over. "They were ready to back the Brink's truck up," the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart's agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

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