Kristen Welker is first Black moderator of longest-running show on American TV ‘Meet the Press’

Dollita Okine September 14, 2023
She will be the 13th moderator of 'Meet the Press,' replacing Chuck Todd, who ended his nine-year term this past Sunday with a special segment in which he officially turned over the reins to Welker. Photo Credit: Instagram, Kristen Welker

Kristen Welker is slated to become the first Black journalist and the second woman to host “Meet the Press,” the longest-running show on American television. She will be the 13th moderator of the NBC show, replacing Chuck Todd, who ended his nine-year term this past Sunday with a special segment in which he officially turned over the reins to Welker.

Todd said to Welker, “You push yourself hard. You work really hard. You prepare. You out-prepare so many people,” before giving her his vintage, battery-backup alarm clock that he’s used for nearly a decade as a gift on-air, according to People.

To which she replied, “I am ready, Chuck, and I just want to say I am also so thankful and grateful to you for this moment for entrusting me with this monumental, important role,” according to the Washington Informer.

“I take this responsibility so seriously. I’m ready because you have helped me get ready, Chuck. You are someone who invests in the people that you care about, and you have invested in me, and I am so eternally grateful for that,” she added. 

Welker became a network correspondent at NBC News in 2010. Since 2011, the 47-year-old Philadelphia native has been a White House correspondent for NBC and even had the opportunity to moderate one of the 2020 presidential debates.

The renowned journalist’s new position has been met with widespread acclaim and recognition of her merit. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, celebrated and congratulated her during her last White House briefing. Her coworkers also praised her professionalism, preparation, and eagerness to help.

“Kristen has this incredible wealth of knowledge and insight into Washington that I have on occasions leaned on while preparing for major interviews. Nobody does their homework or prepares more thoroughly than Kristen. No matter what she does she is all in,” Lester Holt, an NBC Nightly News anchor, told People.

Another colleague, Andrea Mitchell, said of Welker, “I can attest to her eagerness to jump into action for others, even while under pressure herself. A conversation with her usually begins with her asking, ‘How can I help you?’ She is a rare combination: a pit bull when chasing a story and the kind of friend you know you will treasure forever.”

Welker told WTMJ in an interview that her role is “to reflect the voices all across this country from different backgrounds. And I think that that’s a part of the responsibility and a part of the tradition that I will carry.”

Welker will kick off her tenure as anchor with an interview with former President Donald Trump, according to CNN, which was later confirmed by NBC News.

Welker studied American History and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1998. She interned for the Today show while in college and worked for local TV stations in Providence, Rhode Island; Redding, California; and then Philadelphia, her hometown before joining NBC in 2010 full time. Her achievements, extensive education, and experience have earned her many awards throughout the years. In 2020, she was nominated for a national Emmy Award for NBC News’ midterm election coverage. In 2011, she became a White House reporter and reported on the 2016 presidential election. In January 2020, Welker was named “Weekend Today” co-anchor alongside Peter Alexander. She was also named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2020.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 14, 2023


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