By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers
Bob Schieffer's Face the Nation hasn't quite toppled David Gregory's Meet the Press in the Sunday show ratings race, but it has nudged a bit closer in recent months, leaving the Face host a bit perplexed. "I have no idea. We have not changed a thing," he tells Whispers about the better ratings. "We are doing what we've always done, just to try to get the key newsmaker of the week and ask them the obvious question." And Schieffer's right: The two long-running programs have hardly changed a thing in terms of format. "These programs, Meet the Press and Face the Nation, are the oldest and second-oldest broadcasts on television, and they are the two programs that have changed the least in all the years they have been on TV," Schieffer says.
What has changed, of course, is that Gregory became the new face of Meet after the death of newsman Tim Russert a year ago. Even Schieffer admits that he still gets flummoxed sometimes when he watches the program and doesn't see his buddy Tim grilling the guests. And while audiences are adapting to Gregory, Schieffer has brought some of the most newsworthy guests to his 54-year-old show, including Dick Cheney and Colin Powell.