NBC’s long-standing political panel show, “Meet the Press,” will experience a history-making change as Chuck Todd, the current moderator, announces his departure after nearly a decade.
Stepping into his shoes will be Kristen Welker, the first Black host of the renowned program.
During his announcement, Todd, 51, stated that he wanted to put his family first and avoid letting work consume him, citing examples of friends and family who regretted not doing the same.
While the exact date of his final show remains uncertain, Todd assured viewers that this summer would mark his departure. Reflecting on his tenure, he expressed concern about the current historical moment but took pride in the high standards maintained by the show.
He emphasized their refusal to entertain propagandists, reiterating that the network and program would continue to uphold these principles.
Welker, a former chief White House correspondent, has been with NBC News in Washington since 2011.
Since 2020, she has served as Todd’s primary substitute. Also, her performance as the moderator for Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s final debate during the 2020 presidential campaign garnered widespread praise.
Media experts have hailed Welker’s skillful and incisive questioning of lawmakers during political interviews as a masterclass in the field.
In a memo announcing her promotion, Rebecca Blumenstein, NBC News President of Editorial, praised Welker’s abilities.
Welker, 46, will now assume the significant responsibility of leading the program during what promises to be another contentious presidential election cycle.
Since 1947, when Martha Rountree hosted the program, “Meet the Press” has remained a mainstay on Sunday mornings.
The program experienced peak years during Tim Russert’s tenure from 1991 until his untimely passing in 2008. Subsequently, Tom Brokaw temporarily filled in before David Gregory assumed the role until Todd’s appointment.
With Welker’s ascension to the moderator position, she becomes the first Black host in the show’s history and the first woman since Rountree’s departure in 1953.
Industry officials said the milestone marks a significant step forward in diversifying “Meet the Press” and underscores the importance of representation in the media.
With Welker’s appointment, NBC News pledged a fresh perspective and renewed energy as the program hopes to continue its legacy of providing insightful political analysis and interviews with key figures.
Stacy M. Brown is the NNPA Newswire senior national correspondent.