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“I want to expand the repertoire of our conversations,” he says, which has led to booking corporate figures and state and local officials as well as celebrities engaged in social issues, like George Clooney. “It’s not just a discussion of what Washington is doing and not doing, but also what kind of country are we, and what kind of society do we want to be?”

Even so, Gregory understands that “people still want their Washington fix,” and the sort of program “Meet the Press” pioneered provides a welcome weekly peek inside the Beltway bubble. It’s also a way, in polarized times, for Washington to talk to itself without shouting.

“But I want to keep pushing us to evolve and to meet changing interests in our viewers,” says Gregory. “We’re respecting the tradition of what we are and what the core mission of `Meet the Press’ is, while staying relevant. That’s our mandate.”

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Online:

http://www.nbcnews.com

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Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier