NBC News is switching up the producer ranks at "Meet the Press," bringing in veteran news producer Rob Yarin, who has previously worked closely with anchor David Gregory.
Betsy Fischer Martin, who began her career as an intern on the show 22 years ago and became executive producer 11 years ago, plans to transition to a new role as managing editor of political programming for all of NBC News, the network said Thursday.
Yarin, 52, has been senior vice president for programming at the media consulting firm Frank N. Magid Assoc. since 1999. He will join the NBC show on Aug. 4.
"Meet the Press" the longest-running program in television, has seen its ratings slip in recent years. This season, the NBC program has been averaging nearly 3 million viewers a week, slightly less than for the half-hour version of CBS' "Face the Nation," which is up 8% and averages 3.2 million viewers.
ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" also has made ratings gains, mustering 2.6 million viewers a week, an increase of 9%. CBS' "Face the Nation" runs two separate half-hours of the program. When combined, the CBS program averages 2.4 million viewers a week. Fox News Channel's "Fox News Sunday" draws more than 1.2 million viewers, an increase of 9%.
Although the audiences are not huge, the Sunday morning public affairs shows are important advertising draws. They attract big industrial companies and defense contractors that buy commercial time on the programs to reach members of Congress and other opinion leaders.
"I’ve known Rob since my earliest days at NBC News, including our work together covering the ’08 campaign," Gregory said in a statement. "His creativity as a producer and his political smarts are the perfect combination for the future of ‘Meet the Press'."
In 2008, Yarin worked as the executive producer of “Race for the White House,” a daily election program hosted by Gregory that aired on MSNBC. He has served as an advisor to “Meet the Press.” Previously, he was executive producer of “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” when the show aired on CNBC.
Early in his career, Yarin was managing editor of the syndicated “Entertainment Tonight” and was a local news producer at several television stations including KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KNBC-TV Channel 4 in LA.
For Fischer Martin, leaving "Meet the Press" closes an important career chapter. She started at the show as an intern and worked her way up the ranks. Previous moderator Tim Russert promoted her to executive producer in 2002. Russert died five years ago, and Fischer Martin managed the transition to Gregory.
"I have been so honored to have had almost 22 years in a front row seat to history every week on ‘Meet the Press'," Fischer Martin said in a statement.
Earlier this year, she signed a long-term contract with NBC News and plans to work with political news teams across the news division.