Chuck Todd started out as a print guy and now he's a TV guy. And starting on Dec. 7, the NBC News political director and MSNBC host is adding a radio gig to his resume. Todd will be hosting "Unscripted with Chuck Todd" Saturday mornings on SiriusXM's POTUS channel, where he'll be doing longer, more personal interviews, with stars of politics and pop culture.
"I've always been a sucker for shows like that," Todd told Whispers. "If I could have a late-night talk show on television, I would take it in a heartbeat for the same ability, where you could have more of a conversation with somebody, rather than this sort of interview format, interview style [that's] lawyerly like," he said of typical television Q-and-As.
Radio for this reason, Todd continued, hits the spot. "It is the most conversational medium we have, right?" he mused. And for his own radio show, Todd is looking at some of the greats for inspiration.
In college at George Washington University, when Todd and friends were up at 2 a.m., they would watch "Later with Bob Costas," which came on after Johnny Carson and David Letterman in the '90s. "For him, it was – 'I'm not just a sports guy,' right?" Todd said of Costas. "And he was having these incredibly different types of conversations – some of them were celebrities, some of them were newsmakers, some of them were authors." (Todd hopes that his new radio show attracts the same sort of hodgepodge of guests.)
Todd has another sports commentator at the top of his list, someone he hopes to book early on. to "I'm just trying to convince Tony Kornheiser to come do it," Todd said, of the veteran ESPN analyst. "I'm really hoping to have a whole series of people that usually do interviewing on radio and TV, and get them to come on and be on the other side."
Additionally, Todd said he's a Howard Stern fan. "I think one of the best pure interviewers in radio or television is Howard Stern," he said. "There is nobody that is better, sometimes, in asking the awkward question than Howard Stern," Todd continued, adding "it would be fun" if more of Washington's politicians faced the shock jock. Todd, however, has no plans to be tawdry like Stern. "Charlie Rose meets Bob Costas," he said, is more like it.
And all of this – the television, the radio, the political writing – is just a warm-up act for Todd's next career, he told Whispers. "Look, I just hope it leads to my dream job, which is to do radio play-by-play for the University of Miami football games," the Miami native said. "Just University of Miami football, I'm not going to call any other random football games."