A drop in ratings at "Meet the Press" prompted NBC to hire a "psychological consultant" to examine moderator David Gregory and his family last year, according to a new report in The Washington Post.

According to the article, the network conducted an "unusual assessment" of Gregory, 43, talking to his friends and his wife.

NBC spokeswoman Meghan Pianta told The Washington Post the study was done "to get perspective and insight from people who knew him best."

"But the research project struck some at NBC as odd, given that Gregory has been employed there for

nearly 20

years," penned Paul Farhi, who wrote the article.

"Every week I want to be number one, and we fight like hell to get there," Gregory told the newspaper. "And it's tough right now. It's a fight."

Gregory follows moderator Tim Russert, who dominated the ratings until his death in 2008.