Chuck Todd leaving NBC political panel show ‘Meet the Press’ and being replaced by Kristen Welker

June 4, 2023  -NEW YORK (AP) — Chuck Todd said on Sunday that he’ll be leaving “Meet the Press” after a tumultuous near-decade of moderating the NBC political panel show, to be replaced in the coming months by Kristen Welker.

Todd, 51, told viewers that “I’ve watched too many friends and family let work consume them before it was too late” and that he’d promised his family he wouldn’t do that.

Todd has often been an online punching bag for critics, including Donald Trump, during a polarized time, and there were rumors that his time at the show would be short when its executive producer was reassigned at the end of last summer, but NBC gave no indication this was anything other than Todd’s decision. It’s unclear when Todd’s last show will be, but he told viewers that this would be his final summer.

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“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.”

Welker, a former chief White House correspondent, has been at NBC News in Washington since 2011 and has been Todd’s chief fill-in for the past three years. She drew praise for moderating the final presidential debate between Trump, a Republican, and Joe Biden, a Democrat, in 2020.

Her “sharp questioning of lawmakers is a masterclass in political interviews,” said Rebecca Blumenstein, NBC News president of editorial, in a memo announcing Welker’s elevation on Sunday.

Now Welker, 46, will be thrust into what promises to be another contentious presidential election cycle.FILE - Moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News appears during the second and final presidential debate between Republican candidate President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 22, 2020. Welker will replace Chuck Todd, who said on Sunday, June 4, 2023 that he'll be leaving “Meet the Press” after a tumultuous near-decade of moderating the NBC political panel show. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News appears during the second and final presidential debate between Republican candidate President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden in Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

The Sunday morning political interview show has aired since 1947, led by inventor and first host Martha Rountree. Its peak came in the years that Tim Russert moderated, from 1991 until his death in 2008, with its footing less certain since then. Tom Brokaw briefly filled in after Russert’s death, and David Gregory replaced him until being forced out in favor of Todd.

Welker will be the first Black moderator of “Meet the Press” and the first woman since Rountree left in 1953.

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