The New York Observer reports that while NBC News has appointed Tom Brokaw to helm "Meet the Press" following the sudden death of Tim Russert, the Washington bureau still needs a chief. Several sources at the network told The Observer that they believe NBC News' senior VP Mark Whitaker, is the most likely candidate to land the gig. Mr. Whitaker, 50, joined NBC News in May 2007 as the No. 2 executive in the news division behind its president, Steve Capus. Mr. Whitaker spent the bulk of his career at Newsweek, eventually serving as the top editor from 1998 until 2006. Fellow executives are said to value his judgment, and he is often called in to help out with touchy editorial conflicts—a fairly common occurrence these days as executives have wrestled to merge the just-the-facts culture of NBC News with the more freewheeling sensibilities of MSNBC. NBC said it has no timetable for filling the position.