I didn't think the phrase unclear. Perhaps inapt for those he was tarring with it. The Sara Bareilles/Josh Groban year might be the closest to passionate-yet-inexperienced hosts...everyone else in recent years has had legitimate stage cred, if maybe not a lot of it.
"The Tony Awards" has never been a popular TV show. It's never going to be one. Letting go of the idea that stuffing it with big names will make it popular might allow it to be a *good* TV show.