Started on a lark in May 2008, Viva Chuck Todd was a humorous spin-off from the popular Cerebral Itch blog. Two weeks after the launch of Viva Chuck Todd, Morning Joe's Willie Geist introduced VCT on the air and by later that evening traffic had gone from 150 to 25,000 unique visitors.
Two weeks after the on-air plug, Chuck Todd's role at NBC increased due in part from the tragic and untimely death of his mentor and Meet the Press moderator, Tim Russert. Traffic continued to increase as the site also became a destination for people offering their condolences and support for the Russert family, Todd and the NBC family. From there on in site traffic did not ebb until after the 2008 election and was one of the most visited and talked about political sites of the year.
The highest praise came when the Columbia Journalism Review referred to Viva Chuck Todd as"the most flamboyant fansite ever devoted to a political polling expert".
In August of the same year, we launched our first spin-off: Viva Rachel Maddow. The content was just as fun and topical, but it was the e-cards that got all the attention. Up until we shut it down in mid-2011, over 36,000 Viva Rachel Maddow Valentine's Day e-cards were sent from our servers; let's see Secretary Clinton top that. Viva Jonathan Capehart was our last wonderful dance with the Viva brand. Silly us for thinking we were done -