Chuck Todd announced that he will step down as moderator of Meet the Press in September and will be succeeded by Kristen Welker.
Todd has moderated the program since September 2014.
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There already was speculation that there would be a change on the show, after David P. Gelles was hired as executive producer last year, succeeding John Reiss.
Todd said at the end of the show on Sunday, “It’s been an amazing nearly decade long run. I am really proud of what this team and I have built over the last decade. Frankly, the last 15 years, which also includes my time as political director. I’ve loved so much of this job, helping to explain America to Washington and explain Washington to America.”
Todd said that “the key to the survival of any of these media entities, including here at Meet the Press, is for leaders to not overstay their welcome. I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad too long.” He said that he plans to work on projects at NBC including docuseries and docudramas “focused on trying to bridge our divides and pierce political troubles.” Todd has served as political director since he joined the NBC News in 2007. After he steps down, he will stay on at the network as chief political analyst.
Welker serves as NBC News’ chief White House correspondent and is co-anchor of Weekend Today, in which she is joined by fellow chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander. After working at WCAU in Philadelphia, Welker joined NBC News in 2010 and, the following year, was assigned to the White House.
Welker also is co-host of Meet the Press Now on NBC News Now and has been Todd’s co-anchor on major election night programming since 2021. One of her standout moments came in 2020 when she moderated the second and final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. She drew extensive positive reviews for keeping the proceedings moving and under control, as well as substantive.
Todd said on the show that he’s “also ready to take a step back because I know the person whom I’m passing the baton to is somebody who’s been ready for this for a while. Kristen Welker. I’ve had the privilege of working with her from essentially her first day and let me just say she’s the right person in the right moment.”
During Todd’s tenure, he expanded the Meet the Press franchise to a daily show on MSNBC, Meet the Press Daily. The show moved to NBC News Now streaming last year, and Welker is expected to continue as a host on that show. Todd also started a Meet the Press Film Festival, as well as Meet the Press Reports, a regular limited series of single topic shows. He also started a podcast and has continued the news division’s First Read newsletter.
Meet the Press is the longest running TV show, having marked its 75th anniversary last year. With its mix of newsmakers and pundits, it’s also one of the highest profile broadcast TV assignments, even as audiences splinter in the age of streaming. During his tenure, Todd’s interviews and guests were closely scrutinized and he was, from time to time, a target of criticism, for what got asked and what did not. In announcing his departure, he said, “If you do this job seeking popularity, you are doing the job incorrectly. I take the attacks from partisans as compliments. And I take the genuine compliments with a grain of salt when they come from partisans.”
The show has been in third place in total viewers. Season to date, Meet the Press has averaged 2.56 million total viewers, compared to 2.94 million for the first half hour of Face the Nation and 2.66 million for This Week with George Stephanopoulos. In the 25-54 demo, Meet the Press has averaged 512,000 viewers, compared to 512,000 for This Week and 518,000 for Face the Nation. The ratings are from Nielsen via CBS.
Todd seemed to signal that a change was coming in the near future at the Meet the Press 75th anniversary party last fall, when he told the crowd, “I don’t own this. I’m just house sitting.” He also told the Poynter Report, “There should be a sell-by date on all journalists in Washington. I’m a believer that you shouldn’t have one person in a beat forever.”
Todd joined NBC News after serving as editor-in-chief of National Journal’s The Hotline, where he made a mark via the use of data-driven political reporting, now ubiquitous across news media. He succeeded David Gregory as the Meet the Press moderator, becoming the 12th person to fill the position.
Todd’s announcement below:
Today we close our show with an announcement from @chucktodd:
"While today is not my final show, this will be my final summer here at Meet the Press. … I am really proud of what this team and I have built over the last decade." pic.twitter.com/sgeUcNR3C5
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 4, 2023
Here is a staff memo from Rebecca Blumenstein, NBC News President of Editorial, and SVP Politics Carrie Budoff Brown:
After nearly a decade, Chuck Todd has decided to transition to a new role at NBC News in the coming months. As he shared with the Meet the Press audience today, in September he will pass the moderator’s chair to his colleague Kristen Welker.
Under Chuck’s thoughtful and passionate leadership, Meet the Press has sustained its historic role as the indispensable news program on Sunday mornings. Through his penetrating interviews with many of the most important newsmakers, the show has played an essential role in politics and policy, routinely made front-page news, and framed the thinking in Washington and beyond.
In September 2014, he became moderator of Meet the Press – the longest-running television show in history and the gold standard of Sunday public affairs programming. During one of the longest runs as moderator in the show’s storied history, he transformed the brand into a vital modern-day franchise, expanding its footprint to an array of new mediums, and kept Meet the Press at the forefront of political discourse. He has led the flagship program through its 70th and 75th anniversaries and two presidential election cycles.
Chuck has established himself as a trusted authority on all things politics – from consequential presidential and national elections to local and congressional races across the country. In his new position as Chief Political Analyst, he will maintain his role as a leading voice at NBC News for politics, both in the field and for important events. He plans to focus on long-form journalism and continue producing the Chuck Toddcast and Meet the Press Reports.
Kristen, no stranger to Meet the Press viewers, is a regular fill-in on the Sunday broadcast, anchors Meet the Press NOW every Monday and Tuesday, and has been Chuck’s co-anchor on election nights since 2021. She is the ideal journalist to build on the Meet the Press legacy.
Kristen cut her teeth as a broadcast journalist working at ABC and NBC affiliates in Rhode Island, California, and Pennsylvania before settling into the weekend anchor chair at WCAU in Philadelphia. She joined NBC News in 2010 as a correspondent in Burbank, California, and arrived the following year in Washington and later was named Chief White House correspondent. She is a campaign trail veteran and has covered the White House and every corner of Washington, spanning three presidential administrations.
She has masterfully moderated primary and general election presidential debates and her sharp questioning of lawmakers is a masterclass in political interviews. She is a dogged reporter who relishes getting big scoops and is widely admired throughout the bureau and the network for her deeply collaborative nature.
Please join us in congratulating Chuck on an extraordinary run and wishing him the best in his new role, and in welcoming Kristen to the moderator chair of television’s longest-running program.
– Rebecca and Carrie
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