Chuck Todd out at ‘Meet the Press,’ Kristen Welker to take over

By Michael P. Hill Article may include affiliate links

Chuck Todd announced June 4, 2023, that he will be stepping down as moderator of “Meet the Press” and will be replaced by Kristen Welker, who will become the show’s second female moderator.

Todd was given the moderator chair in 2014, replacing David Gregory. He will end his run sometime in September 2023.

The move comes as the 2024 elections loom and the show has seen its ratings erode. It typically finishes last place in total viewers for network Sunday morning political affairs broadcasts, behind CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and ABC News’ “This Week.”

There have been rumblings that Todd would depart “MTP” for some time now, as the network reportedly grew concerned about the lackluster ratings. Some reporters indicated that NBC was considering replacing him with Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor of “Today” and that she would leave that post. That scenario, however, does not appear to be happening, at least as of this latest announcement.

Todd will remain with NBC News, assuming the title of chief political analyst. NBC’s announcement of the change did not mention if he would continue to serve as the network’s political director as well.

Todd is expected to continue to appear during major political coverage on the network, as well as work on long-form projects, his podcast and anchor “Meet the Press Now” on NBC’s news streamer.

“It’s been an amazing nearly decadelong run. I am really proud of what this team and I have built over the last decade,” Todd said on-air June 4. “I’ve loved so much of this job, helping to explain America to Washington and explain Washington to America.”

Todd also noted that leaders should not “overstay their welcome.”

“I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad too long,” he said.

“I’ve let work consume me for nearly 30 years,” he added.

“I can’t remember the last time I didn’t wake up before 5 or 6 a.m., and as I’ve watched too many friends and family let work consume them, before it was too late, I promised my family I wouldn’t do that,” he continued, using the longtime adage of departing TV personalities leaving to spend more time with their families. Some view this as a way to, at least in some ways, disguise the real reason for anchors leaving.

Meanwhile, Welker, who also serves as co-anchor of Saturday “Today” and one of the network’s White House correspondents, will take over as the 13th moderator in the fall of 2023. It is not immediately clear if she will continue her “Today” and White House duties.

Saturday “Today” is broadcast out of Washington, D.C. rather than New York, from the same building as “MTP” and having her appear on the network on both Saturday and Sunday could create a sense of continuity.

NBC currently has multiple reporters assigned to the White House, so Welker could give up that role or continue to hold the title but perhaps cut back on her responsibilities.

Welker will become only the second woman in the history of the show to become moderator, the first being creator Martha Rountree, who had the job from 1947 to 1953.

She is also the first person of color to moderate the show.

“Meet the Press” has the distinction of being the longest-running TV show in history, dating back to 1947, though its format has changed significantly since its launch.

“MTP” started as a radio broadcast in 1945.

The show expanded to a daily show on MSNBC called “MTP Daily” in 2015. It ran until 2022 before moving to NBC News Now under the name “Meet the Press Now,” though its format largely remained the same.

“Meet the Press” had its heyday under the late Tim Russert, who moderated from 1991 to 2008, making him the longest tenured person to hold the job so far. He died in June 2008 after suffering a blood clot while at work at the NBC News bureau.

Retired “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw took over the show on an interim basis after the current “Nightly” anchor Brian Williams hosted for one week.

Gregory, then NBC’s chief White House correspondent, took over in December 2008. Ratings dipped and Gregory left in 2014. Today, Gregory is an analyst for CNN.