In a change that shakes up the Sunday show landscape, Chuck Todd is exiting as the moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, with Kristen Welker succeeding him beginning in September.
Todd will become chief political analyst for NBC News, working on long-form journalism and producing the Chuck Toddcast and Meet the Press Reports.
Todd announced the news at the end of the program Sunday morning.
“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,” Todd said.
“I’m 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,” Todd added. “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. And for what it’s worth, this is exactly how I always hoped this would end, that I’d be passing the baton to her, which I’ll officially do in September. “
Welker, who has been the regular fill-in anchor for Meet the Press and Todd’s election night co-anchor, “is the ideal journalist to build on the Meet the Press legacy,” per a memo from NBC News President of Editorial Rebecca Blumenstein and NBC News Senior Vice President of Politics Carrie Budoff Brown sent to NBC News staffers Sunday morning.
Todd was named moderator of Meet the Press in September 2014 and has expanded the programs to other platforms via a streaming spinoff (a top priority not only for Todd but also Welker) and with the Meet the Press Film Festival. Last year, the program celebrated its 75th anniversary.
Welker has been with NBC News since 2010 and currently serves as chief White House correspondent and the co-anchor of Weekend Today, in addition to her regular fill-in duties on Meet the Press.
David Gelles, who was named executive producer of the program last year, will continue in that role.
Todd also ended his commentary Sunday morning with a look at how he has approached the job, and the current moment facing the country.
“I leave feeling concerned about this moment in history but reassured by the standards we’ve set here,” Todd said. “We didn’t tolerate propagandists and this network and program never will. But it doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand either; if you ignore reality, you’ll miss the biggest story. Being a real political journalist isn’t about building a brand, it’s about reporting what’s happening and explaining why it’s happening and letting the public absorb the facts. If you do this job seeking popularity, you are doing this job incorrectly.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter