MEDIA

The Men Who Would Be Russert

Since Tim Russert's sudden death last year, there has been a power vacuum at the top of the Sunday political talk show scene. David Gregory, Russert's successor on Meet the Press, is doing a serviceable job, but is facing criticism for being too stiff and low-key. Now, others hosts such as George Stephanopoulos of The Week and Bob Schieffer of Face the Nation—who used to be relegated to second and third place—are climbing the ratings ladder. Howard Kurtz, The Washington Post's media columnist, praises Stephanopoulos for putting his guests on the spot by asking tough questions and assembling interesting panels that feature a good mix of personalities. Scieffer also is getting a boost in ratings—although he still lost to Meet the Press despite having the first Sunday interview with the president. "I think if I could get that dog (Bo), we could probably draw a bigger audience" Schieffer joked.