National TV show executive has local roots
Betsy Fischer speaks to rotary club about her work
By Colette Lottinger -
Sep 07, 2006
|Rev. George Fischer at left is proud of his daughter, Betsy Fischer, who spoke at last Wednesday’s Rotary meeting. Betsy is the excectutive director of the No.1 rated Sunday morning news show “Meet the Press.”
Betsy Fischer, executive producer of NBC’s Meet the Press that airs on Sundays, was guest speaker at the St. Charles Rotary Club last Wednesday.
Rotarian Rev. George Fischer introduced his vivacious behind- the-scenes daughter who says she is responsible for everything that goes on the number one show.
She books the guests and decides with host Tim Russert about subject matter.
“Tim is very down to earth,” said Fischer. “He is not a TV type, you know, concerned about the way he looks. He is loyal, smart, driven and can cut through to the point.”
Fischer was in town because Russert had planned to interview Mayor Ray Nagin for the Hurricane Katrina anniversary, however, he interviewed the Mayor via remote from Washington instead.
Not wanting to disappoint her parents, she made the trip home anyway.
A member of the audience asked Fischer how Louisiana politics compared with other places. Fisher said it is similar. She thinks you can usually tell how a member of congress is by the way he treats his staff.
The saucy yet controlled brown-haired Fischer told the group that they double and triple check everything that goes on the air for accuracy.
“Meet the Press is the longest running show in the world, going on 60 years.” she added.
The master’s degreed journalist was raised in Metairie, so she has a real feel for Louisiana politics. In fact, she has a degree in political science.
A week after Katrina hit she was able to book Jefferson Parish President and former Mayor Aaron Broussard on Meet the Press, because she knew he would be open with the public.
She tried to recruit Gov. Kathleen Blanco on the show two weeks after Katrina. However, Blanco canceled the night before because she was meeting with a government official instead.
She wouldn’t work around her schedule to pre-tape or accomodate the show.
She was the third person to cancel an appearance in 60 years, remembers Fischer.
When asked how she landed such a prestigious job on Meet the Press, she said it began with an intership on the show and has never left.
Fischer said she always likes to look at both sides of an issue. When asked about the sides James Carville and his wife Mary take against each other, she said they really do argue about politics and sometimes come and leave in separate cars.
They come together though, and get along well, when speaking about their two daughters and family interaction.
The final question asked by Dudley Webre was, “What do you think about the matrimony?”
He was referring to the engagement and planned wedding for Oct. 21 between her father, Rev. George Fischer and Louise Broach. She said she thinks it’s wonderful!