In swapping Mr. Carlson for Mr. Gregory, each in his late 30s, MSNBC is hoping that a rising star of its news division — Mr. Gregory is also the lead substitute for Matt Lauer on "Today" — can find more success on MSNBC than Mr. Carlson, once a star on CNN's "Crossfire."
How many people reading that today exclaimed in shock "his THIRTIES?" I know I did when I first learned that Gregory was not more, er, seasoned. I think we can all agree that he looks older than Carlson (and hold on to your hats, kids, because Carlson is actually the older one, at 38), but certainly also more in the range of, say, Joe Scarborough (44). It's not only the prematurely gray hair (which I understand went gray early, thereby ensuring his gravitas in all future White House lawn stand-ups), but the resume — as we mentioned yesterday and have noted in the past, he's run the gamut from "Today" substitute host and frequent buster of moves to guest host of "Meet The Press" and "Hardball" and substitute anchor for the weekend edition of "NBC Nightly News." It remains to be seen what tone "Race for the White House" will take between these two TV extremes — will Gregory be serious and anchorly a la MTP or jovial and jokey as he's been with Don Imus in the past and on "Today," plus Conan, Leno and Bill Maher, and also as he's known to be in private? (Apparently he does a mean impression of George Bush, Larry King and Tom Brokaw.) Either way, ETP has confirmed that he is 37 years young...which means he has plenty of time to be both. Also, he's very tall.