NBC’s Chuck Todd Will Step Down as Host of ‘Meet the Press’

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
June 4, 2023Businessshare
NBC’s Chuck Todd Will Step Down as Host of ‘Meet the Press’
Chuck Todd, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," in a file photograph. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images for AWXII)

NBC News’ Chuck Todd announced he is stepping down as the host of Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” he announced on June 4.

Todd has spent the past nine years as the moderator of the Sunday show, frequently interviewing politicians about various issues. His tenure will end at the end of the summer, Todd said.

Replacing him will be Kristen Welker, who notably hosted the final 2020 debate between former President Donald Trump and then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“It’s been an amazing nearly decade-long run,” Todd said.” 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.”

In his announcement, Todd did not say explicitly say why he would be leaving the program but he indicated that he’d rather leave sooner than later. He will continue to work for NBC News.

“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,” Todd said. “I’d rather leave a little bit too soon than stay a tad too long.”

Welker confirmed the development on Twitter, writing that she is “humbled and grateful” to succeed him. “Todd has been a mentor and friend since my first day at NBC News,” Welker said. “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.”

A Sunday memo sent to staff members by NBC News editorial president Rebecca Blumenstein confirmed Todd’s departure, according to a report from NBC.

“‘Meet the Press’ has sustained its historic role as the indispensable news program on Sunday mornings,” Blumenstein and another executive, Carrie Budoff Brown, said in the memo. “Through his penetrating interviews with many of the most important newsmakers, the show has played an essential role in politics and policy, routinely made front-page news, and framed the thinking in Washington and beyond.”

In recent years, critics have said NBC and sister cable news station, MSNBC, both owned by Comcast, have shifted further to the political left, namely during the tenure of former President Donald Trump. On his program, Todd has been a frequent critic of the former president, and Trump has derisively referred to the anchor as “sleepy eyes.”

“I’ve asked him what the ‘Sleepy Eyes’ means. He doesn’t know,” Todd told TheWrap in 2018. “He said once, ‘I give someone a nickname I stay with it. Sometimes I give someone a nickname and I can’t remember how I came up with it but I stick with it.’”

“Meet the Press” is considered the longest-running show in U.S. television, having celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2022. Notably, it was hosted by veteran journalist Tim Russert between 1991 and 2008, when he passed away.

Todd, who took over from previous “Meet the Press” host David Gregory in 2014, had previously worked as NBC News’ top White House correspondent and was host of the MSNBC series “The Daily Rundown.”

Media Shakeup

His announcement comes in the midst of several major shakeups across the broadcast media world. More than a month ago, Fox News confirmed in a statement that it would be parting ways with former Tucker Carlson, while CNN indicated that it fired Don Lemon after years of controversy and allegations surrounding the former host.

As for Carlson, few details have been released about why he left the network, including why Fox News would suddenly part ways with its top-rated host. Fox News’ first full month without Carlson saw a marked decline in its primetime ratings, according to data released by Nielsen.

On the same day Carlson was let go from the network, CNN confirmed that it would be parting ways with Lemon, who made several accusations against his former employer on Twitter. Reports indicate that Carlson and Lemon may have hired the same lawyer, Bryan Freedman, who released one statement so far about Carlson in May, saying that “the idea that anyone is going to silence Tucker and prevent him from speaking to his audience is beyond preposterous.”

Fox News only generated 1.42 million average primetime viewers, or a 37 percent drop year-over-year, the numbers show. In the interim, a Fox News program with a rotating cast of hosts, dubbed “Fox News Tonight,” has failed to generate the same number of viewers as Carlson’s previous show in the 8 p.m. ET timeslot.

But the ratings show that MSNBC still drew fewer viewers in primetime, averaging 1.16 million viewers for a 14 percent gain year-over-year, according to Nielsen. CNN’s primetime viewership, meanwhile, has dropped 25 percent year-over-year to 494,000 average viewers.

Weeks after his departure, Carlson released a video announcing that he would be moving his former primetime show to Twitter. That announcement drew tens of millions of viewers and impressions.

From The Epoch Times

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