Martha Rountree

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Martha Rountree (1911-1999) was a radio and television broadcaster, who best known for being the first moderator of NBC's Meet the Press. Rountree also co-founded Meet the Press with reporter, Lewrance Spivik, in 1945. Before her work with NBC, she hosted a number of radio shows.

Rounter faced the challenge of getting a contract from the Mutual Network for Meet the Press. She asked the network's president, "how would you like to have a program on Mutual in which people like Stalin and Roosevelt and Churchill and Henry Wallace were asked challenging questions?" The radio stations president responded by asking her if it were possible to get all of those people on her proposed show. She replied, "Maybe not all, but some." [1]

Along with Spivik's help, Meet the Press became a resounding achievement, revolutionizing radio and later television newscast. After moderating Meet the Press on NBC for six years, Rountree left the program. Before she left, NBC made an agreement which stated that she could not make a program similar to Meet the Press for at least two years.[2]

In June 1956 she co-created and moderated a political discussion forum, Press Conference, which had sixteen reporters asking political candidates questions. She also began another news show in 1959, Capital closeup. In 1999, Rountree died of from Alzheimer's disease.[3]


  1. Meet the Press: 50-Years of History in the Making, by Rick Ball (Author), pg. 5, Nbc News
  2. Meet the Press: 50-Years of History in the Making, by Rick Ball (Author), pg. 13