Chuck Todd announced he is leaving NBC’s Meet the Press, the news show he has hosted for nine years across two presidential election cycles. His successor will be Kristen Welker, the network’s chief White House Correspondent.
“I leave feeling concerned about this moment in history but reassured by the standards we’ve set here,” Todd said during Sunday’s broadcast. “We didn’t tolerate propagandists, and this network and program never will.”
Todd cited concerns about working too much as one reason for leaving. “I’ve let work consume me for nearly 30 years,” Todd said. “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.”
“I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad bit too long,” Todd said.
Welker will be the second woman moderator since the program’s inception. Martha Rountree, the first moderator, held the position from 1947-1953. Welker will also be the first Black journalist to moderate the show, which is the longest running program in television history.
“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 said. “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.”
According to an NBC memo, Todd will continue at the network as chief political analyst, maintaining “his role as a leading voice at NBC News for politics, both in the field and for important events.”
Todd’s time in the moderator’s chair coincided with a tumultuous era in American politics, including two impeachments and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. It was on his show that Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway introduced the term “alternative facts” as a euphemism for outright lies.
“Look, alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods,” Todd told Conway at the time.
Todd will remain in the moderator’s chair until his final broadcast in September, he said.