NBC eyeing staff for Russert successor

June 14, 2008 at 3:43 PM

WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) -- NBC is looking inward for a successor to Tim Russert, the late host of the U.S. current events TV program "Meet the Press," talent representatives say.

Anonymous talent representatives said that in the wake of Russert's death of an apparent heart attack Friday, the TV network has been considering three TV personalities already under contract with NBC as his possible replacement, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Among those personalities are former "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough and "Race for the White House" host David Gregory.

The talent officials said it was unlikely NBC executives would consider attempting to lure away talent such as "CBS News" anchor Katie Couric from a rival network.

The Times said no matter who the network picks to fill Russert's chair on the political news program, they will be forced to follow a host who made "Press" a major success.

In 2001, when Russert signed a long-term deal to host the popular series it earned an annual profit of $50 million for NBC.

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