Chuck Todd to Leave ‘Meet the Press’ at End of Summer, Kristen Welker to Take Over (Video)

“I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad too long,” the NBC News host said on Sunday’s broadcast

Courtesy of NBCU

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd is stepping down after nine years as host of the NBC political talk show at the end of the summer. Kristen Welker will replace him as host in September.

“The key to the survival of any of these media entities, including here at ‘Meet the Press,’ is for leaders to not overstay their welcome. I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad too long,” Todd said on Sunday’s broadcast.

“It’s been an amazing nearly decade-long run,” he continued. ”I am really proud of what this team and I have built over the last decade. I’ve loved so much of this job, helping to explain America to Washington and explain Washington to America.”

The changing of the guard on America’s longest running political talk show comes as news networks are preparing to cover the 2024 presidential election, which could potentially be a rematch between President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump. Welker moderated a debate between Biden and Trump during the 2020 election and has served as co-lead White House correspondent for NBC News alongside Peter Alexander as well as co-anchor of the Saturday broadcast of “Today.”

“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. 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, which I’ll officially do in September,“ Todd said.

Kristen Welker during the second 2020 presidential campaign debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on Oct. 22, 2020. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg/Pool)

Todd will remain at NBC News as its chief political analyst, working on longform journalism and on the podcasts “Meet the Press Reports” and “Chuck Toddcast.” After announcing his departure, Todd acknowledged the frequent criticism that he received online during his tenure as host of “MTP” and said that he accepted it as part of the job.

“Being a real political journalist isn’t about building a brand, it’s about reporting what’s happening and explaining why it’s happening and letting the public absorb the facts. If you do this job seeking popularity, you are doing this job incorrectly,” he 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,” he added. “The goal of this and every ‘Meet the Press’ episode is to do all of the following in one informative hour: make you mad, make you think, shake your head in disapproval at some point and nod your head in approval at others. If you do all of that in one hour of this show, we’ve done our job.”