Jon Stewart has been hosting The Daily Show for nearly 20 years, but according to New York magazine, the Comedy Central host was aggressively courted to be the next Meet the Press host by NBC. While Chuck Todd has been the Sunday news show anchor for the last month, three “senior television sources with knowledge of the talks” told NYMag that NBC News president Deborah Turness held negotiations with Jon Stewart to take over the show first:
One source explained that NBC was prepared to offer Stewart virtually “anything” to bring him over. “They were ready to back the Brinks truck up,” the source said. A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment. James Dixon, Stewart’s agent, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
It’s a strange but unsurprising move on NBC’s part considering Meet the Press’ declining ratings and Stephen Colbert’s hiring at CBS’s Late Show, and Stewart was also courted by NBC before for a 10:00PM variety slot that he turned down (the one that went to Jay Leno). For his part, Stewart has been ranked as the top earning late night talk show host for the past few years and according to THR pulls in $25 to $30 million every year at The Daily Show. Thankfully that’s enough money to make an offer of “virtually anything” not worth leaving his Comedy Central home just yet.