Where NBC's Meet the
Press used to be just about booking the best guests, the current media
landscape means viewers are demanding more interactivity from the broadcast,
moderator David Gregory said at a CTAM Summit general session Monday afternoon.
"The experience piece of Meet
the Press and what people expect of that piece is changing," he said.
"Viewers want to be in an active conversation, they want me to hear them just
as they hear me."
Though Gregory does
things like checking Twitter during his show to update viewers on what people
are talking about in real time, he concedes he needs to do more to drive
"It's a struggle; it's a real challenge," he said. "I don't
think I'm really getting it yet."
Gregory said Meet the
Press has to use social networking as much as possible to drive viewing, as
well as to talk to viewers afterwards about what the take-away is. He does that
in part with "Press Pass," which makes exclusive extra content available online
to supplement the broadcast.
"We see a need for
the Meet the Press brand to be
extended beyond Sunday," keeping the show part of the conversation throughout
the week, he said.
That effort is what
Gregory sees as a shift toward "a responsibility to find our viewers rather
than assumption that they find us."
Speaking at the
conference on the eve of the second presidential debate, Gregory also weighed
in on the increased scrutiny on the debate moderators in the 2012 election.
"I believe in a
strong moderator," he said. "The moderator should not be taking over the
proceedings, but moderators play an important role in accountability, pinning
the candidate down and forcing answers to questions."
Gregory believes the polarization of much of the media is to
blame for the debate moderators getting as much scrutiny as the candidates. In
that way, he sees an increasingly important role for Meet the Press to offer information among the polarized
"The revolution of
information makes quality all the more important," he said. "I feel an
incredible challenge to navigate this path smartly. Being constructive is one
of the most important things to add to the national conversation."