“Meet the Journalists” host and moderator Chuck Todd announced Sunday that he will step down this year after nine years hosting the public affairs talk show. He will be succeeded by NBC News co-chief White House correspondent Kristen Welker.
“It’s been a nearly decade-long run. I’m very proud of what this team and I have built over the last decade,” Todd said during Sunday’s broadcast. “I’ve loved this job, helping to explain America to Washington and Washington to America.”
He plans to remain in a new role as chief political analyst at NBC, where he will serve as a key voice in the field and during major events. He will also focus on long-form journalism.
“When I took over ‘Meet the Press,’ it was a Sunday show and a lot of people were questioning whether it could still have a place in the modern media landscape,” Todd added. “Well, I think we answered that question and then some.”
In a note to staff, Rebecca Blumenstein, president of editorial at NBC News, and Gary Budoff Brown, senior vice president of politics at NBC News, praised “Chuck’s thoughtful and passionate leadership.”
“‘Meet the Press’ has maintained its historic role as the indispensable news program on Sunday mornings,” said Blumenstein and Budoff Brown. “Through his penetrating interviews with many of the most important newsmakers, the show has played a central role in politics and policy, routinely making front-page news and shaping thinking in Washington and beyond.”
Welker joins a line of hosts that includes Tim Russert, who helmed the show from 1991 until his death in 2008. She was the second woman — following its inaugural host, Martha Rowntree — and the first black journalist to “neutralize Meet the Press.”
“Meet the Press” is the longest-running program on American television and celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. It led its competition in total viewers for more than eight years and won its first Emmy for a special report on “Schools, America and Race” during Todd’s tenure.
Todd has been at the helm of the program during some of the most significant political events of the past decade, including the final years of President Barack Obama’s administration, the 2016 presidential campaign and the election of Donald Trump, and the aftermath of the U.S. Capitol riots. On January 6, 2021.
In one of the most memorable interviews of the early Trump era, Todd asked one of Trump’s top aides, Kellyanne Conway, why then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer used his first appearance in the briefing room. Inauguration. Conway responded that Spicer was offering “alternative facts” — a term that quickly became synonymous with the Trump administration’s approach to facts and the news media.
In response, Todd said: “Look, alternative facts are not facts. They are false.”
Todd — the 12th host of “Meet the Press” and a five-time Emmy-winning journalist — saw himself as the show’s guardian. “I don’t own this, I’m sitting at home,” he said during the 75th anniversary celebration in Washington last year. “I want to leave it in the best shape for the next person, and every person has done that.”
Welker regularly filled in for Todd on “Meet the Press.” In his comments during Sunday’s broadcast, Todd said Welker was willing to back down in part because he’s “been ready for this for a long time.”
“I have had the privilege of working with him since his first day and I would say he is the right person at the right time,” he said.
Welker joined NBC News in 2010 and became a fixture in the White House briefing room. He has covered the last three presidential elections and traveled the world with top political leaders Moderated the final 2020 debate Between Trump and President Joe Biden. In 2020 she was named co-host of “Weekend Today”.
“He has skillfully moderated primary and general election presidential debates, and his sharp questioning of lawmakers is a master of political interviewing,” Blumenstein and Budoff Brown said in their note to staff. “He’s a tenacious reporter who likes to get the big scoops and is widely admired across the bureau and network for his deeply collaborative nature.”
Welker will take over the show as the 2024 presidential campaign heats up and prepares to enter the primary season. The first GOP debate is scheduled for August 23, the Republican National Committee announced last week.
Todd took over “Meet the Press” in September 2014 after David Gregory, expanding the show’s broadcast and digital footprint to include a weekly podcast, a blog and an annual film festival. In addition to the Sunday show, he helped launch and host “MTP Daily,” the weekday edition of the show that aired on MSNBC last year before moving to the NBC News Now streaming service.
He previously served as NBC News’ chief White House correspondent and host of the MSNBC series “The Daily Rundown.” Before coming to NBC, Chuck was editor-in-chief of The Hotline, a political news and commentary website, where he earned a reputation as a sharp election analyst with a quick command of data.