What's In A Name? MTP Says Goodbye To Russert's

07/07/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

There was another quiet rite of passage for NBC this week, in a long list of sad ones since they lost Tim Russert just over two weeks ago: His name has been removed from the "Meet The Press" title card. Two weeks ago in the memorial show two days after Russert's death, the title card bore his name, over his desk and empty chair; last week, it was shown as usual over an image of the Capitol, with the usual intro — "From NBC News in Washington, this is 'Meet The Press' with Tim Russert" — his name announced just before that of guest-host Brian Williams. This week, with the first show of interim host Tom Brokaw, Russert's name was dropped from the title and announcement — as well as the title card on the back end of the broadcast, which shows the website address.

Initially, MTP executive producer Betsy Fischer had said that Russert's name would stay until a permanent host was selected, according to an interview she gave to TVNewser's Alissa Krisnky prior to the June 22nd broadcast. However, after two weeks of including Russert's name as host in the title card and voiceover, the time had clearly come to move the broadcast on to the next phase, at least by one more small increment. Note that today's broadcast was referred to as "a special edition of 'Meet the Press,' moderated today by Tom Brokaw"; last week it was the regular Washington-based non-special edition, with Williams described as "sitting in today." Presumably next week, back in D.C., the title and voice-over will evolve again, in another small step away from what it used to be, and towards what it now must, sadly but inevitably, become.

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