Kristen Welker Makes Historical past as First Black Host of “Meet the Press”

Chuck Todd hosted his closing episode of NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, handing the reins over to White Home correspondent Kristen Welker, who will make historical past as the primary Black individual to host the long-lasting program.  

Todd introduced earlier this yr that he would depart the present he has hosted since 2014. He talked about feeling involved about this second in historical past however reassured by the requirements they’ve set for the present. On his closing present, which aired on Sunday, Sept. 10, Todd thanked his viewers and group and provided a glimpse of what the present would appear to be with Welker as host. 

“The final 9 years as moderator of the longest-running present on tv have been the honour of my skilled life, and as I put together to cross the baton to the subsequent custodian, it’s a privilege to cross it to somebody who wants no introduction,” Todd remarked.

Welker wasted little time letting viewers know she was as much as the duty. 

“I’m prepared, Chuck, and I simply wish to say I’m additionally so grateful and grateful to you for this second for entrusting me with this monumental, necessary function,” stated Welker, who earlier throughout her closing White Home briefing was feted with congratulations by White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. 

“I take this duty so critically. I’m prepared as a result of you’ve helped me prepare, Chuck. You’re somebody who invests within the individuals that you just care about, and you’ve got invested in me, and I’m so eternally grateful for that,” Welker stated.  

The 47-year-old Philadelphia native has served as a White Home correspondent for NBC since 2011 and moderated one of many presidential debates in 2020. This week, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell marked the historic passing of the baton with an op-ed, writing, “On Sept. 17, one other milestone will probably be handed for ladies journalists. Kristen Welker is about to grow to be the thirteenth moderator of ‘Meet the Press,’ the longest-running present on American tv.”  

Mitchell famous that for the primary time, each Sunday public affairs program will probably be moderated or co-moderated by a lady as Welker joins Dana Bash, Shannon Bream, Margaret Brennan, Jen Psaki, and Martha Raddatz on the helm for his or her respective networks. 

Because the thirteenth moderator within the 75-year historical past of “Meet the Press,” Welker would be the first Black individual within the function. However not, as Mitchell famous, intriguingly, the primary lady. That honor belongs to the published’s founding host, Martha Roundtree, who launched this system in 1947. 

Welker, who has held the title of the community’s chief White Home correspondent throughout three presidencies, has a well-earned popularity for being collegial and inclusive. “I can attest to her eagerness to leap into motion for others, even whereas beneath stress herself,” Mitchell wrote. “A dialog together with her often begins together with her asking, ‘How can I provide help to?’ She is a uncommon mixture: a pit bull when chasing a narrative and the type of buddy you realize you’ll treasure endlessly.” 

Welker obtained widespread reward for her outstanding composure and distinctive dealing with of the excessive stress because the moderator of the ultimate debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in 2020. Mitchell heaped extra reward on Welker for her accomplishments and predicted extra award-winning journalism from her colleague. 

“Welker will now lead probably the most venerable program on tv, inheriting the legacy of such predecessors as Tim Russert and Chuck Todd,” Mitchell famous. “There’s nonetheless an extended solution to go within the march to equal illustration, however Welker will probably be an instance to observe. Not that way back, “lady journalist” was nearly an oxymoron, particularly in broadcast information.”