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June 04, 2023

Kristen Welker to take over for Chuck Todd as NBC 'Meet the Press' moderator

Welker, who has reported for NBC10 and moderated a 2020 presidential debate, will be the talk show's first Black journalist and second woman to act as moderator

On Sunday's episode of NBC's "Meet the Press," Chuck Todd announced that he will be stepping down as moderator of the Sunday morning political program after nearly a decade.

In his place, Kristen Welker will take over the moderator position for the show, NBC News reported. Welker currently works as NBC News’ co-chief White House correspondent and has been Todd’s chief fill-in for the past three years.

Todd became moderator in 2014, succeeding David Gregory. During his time on "Meet the Press," Todd expanded the program’s broadcast and digital footprint to include a weekly podcast, a blog, an annual film festival and a weekday version of the show. During Sunday's broadcast, Todd said he has "watched too many friends and family let work consume them before it was too late," and promised his family he wouldn't do that.

"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 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. 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."

Todd's last episode of "Meet the Press" is expected to air sometime in September. Todd, 51, will remain on the team in a new role as chief political analyst.

Welker, 46, who was born and raised in Philadelphia and previously worked for NBC10, will be the first Black journalist and the second woman to moderate “Meet the Press,” NBC said.  — following the show's inaugural host Martha Rountree, who left in 1953 — "Meet the Press" is America's longest continuously-running TV show.

"(Chuck Todd) has been a mentor and friend since my first day at (NBC)," Welker wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "I’ve learned so much from sitting with him at the anchor desk and simply experiencing his passion for politics. I'm humbled and grateful to take the baton and continue to build on the legacy of (Meet the Press)"

Born in Philly in 1976, Welker grew up in the city's Fairmount neighborhoodHer mother Julie is a real estate agent who ran for City Council, and her father Harvey is an engineer.

Welker always wanted to be a reporter growing up, she told Philadelphia Magazine in 2010, and her interest in journalism was sparked while watching former CBS Evening News' anchor Dan Rather.

Welker attended Germantown Friends School (GFS), where she wrote for the school newspaper. Her 11th grade English teacher described Welker as, "inquisitive, warm-hearted, a great communicator and serious-minded but also very funny."

After graduating GFS in 1994, Welker studied American history at Harvard University, where she graduated in 1998 with honors. During college, she interned for “Today."

After her college internship with NBC, Welker's early career included stints as a researcher on the "Weekend Today" show and an entry-level producer for CBS-affiliated stations.

Her reporting career took her to a pair of ABC affiliates in Redding, California, and Providence, Rhode Island. She returned home to Philly in 2005 to work as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor at NBC10 for five years, during which she covered the 2008 presidential election and interviewed Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

"As a purple state, there is always a large focus on Pennsylvania, and particularly so during that dynamic campaign year," Welker told The Everygirl in 2018. "These interviews allowed me to share and showcase my work to the network which helped propel me to my current position. Moreover, the experience helped me learn how to interview politicians at the national level."

In 2020, Welker moderated the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Welker's political reporting has appeared on "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," "Today" and "Meet the Press." She is also a co-anchor on "Weekend Today."

Welker is married to John Hughes, who was working as a Merck executive in Philly as of their 2017 wedding at the Bellevue Hotel. The couple was set up by mutual friends, and had gone on their first date in 2014 at a restaurant in Center City.

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