Welker To Become First Black Host on the Esteemed NBC News Program
This fall, NBC News’ major Sunday political show, “Meet the Press,” will have a new host. In September, Kristen Welker, NBC’s chief White House correspondent, will take over Chuck Todd’s role as the network’s chief political analyst.
Welker, 46, will be the first Black journalist and the second woman to host the show. She has been at NBC News in Washington since 2011 and has been Todd’s chief fill-in for the past three years. Welker has also co-hosted “Meet the Press NOW,” a show on NBC News NOW, the company’s internet streaming network.
Welker drew praise for moderating the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in 2020. Her “sharp questioning of lawmakers is a masterclass in political interviews,” said Rebecca Blumenstein, NBC News president of editorial, said in a memo announcing Welker’s new role.
“I’m humbled and grateful to take the baton and continue to build on the legacy of ‘Meet the Press,’” Welker wrote on Twitter, noting that Todd has been a friend and mentor since she started at NBC. “I’ve learned so much from sitting with him at the anchor desk and simply experiencing his passion for politics,” she said.
“Meet The Press” has been on the air since 1947, with the inventor and inaugural host Martha Rountree at the helm. It peaked during Tim Russert’s years as host from 1991 to his death in 2008. After Russert’s death, Tom Brokaw briefly filled in, then David Gregory replaced him until he was replaced by Todd in 2014.
“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.”