By Ramishah Maruf, CNN
New York (CNN) — Chuck Todd, the longtime host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” is stepping down from his role, he shared with the audience on Sunday.
Colleague Kristen Welker, who is a regular fill-in on the Sunday broadcast, will take over the role.
Welker, who has been with NBC News since 2010, was Todd’s co-anchor on election nights beginning in 2021, a memo from NBC News President of Editorial Rebecca Blumenstein and NBC News Senior Vice President of Politics Carrie Budoff Brown said.
“When I took over ‘Meet the Press,’ it was a Sunday show that had a lot of people questioning whether it still could have a place in the modern media space,” Todd said on the show. “Well, I think we’ve answered that question and then some.”
Todd became the show’s moderator in September 2014, leading the show through two presidential election cycles, the memo said.
But it’s important media leaders do not “overstay their welcome,” Todd said on the show. “I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad too long.”
It’s an important time for his personal life, he added.
“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.”
Todd will remain at NBC – he will begin a new position as chief political analyst for the network. NBC said he will focus on long-form journalism and continue producing the “Chuck Toddcast” and “Meet the Press Reports.”
Todd will “maintain his role as a leading voice at NBC News for politics, both in the field and for important events,” the memo said.
Welker will take over the show in September.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with (Welker) from essentially her first day and let me just say she’s the right person in the right moment,” Todd said.
Todd said he is leaving at a time when he is concerned about “this moment in history,” doubling down on the responsibility of political journalists to report the facts rather than build a brand.
“If you do this job seeking popularity, you are doing this job incorrectly,” Todd said. “I take the attacks from partisans as compliments. And I take the genuine compliments with a grain of salt when they come from partisans.”
The flagship Sunday program did “not tolerate” propagandists and “never will,” he added.
“But it doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand either; if you ignore reality, you’ll miss the biggest story,” Todd said.
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