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What to know about Kristen Welker, the NBC reporter replacing Chuck Todd

Kristen Welker is pictured prior to the second and final presidential debate between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

NBC’s major Sunday politics show, “Meet the Press,” is getting a new look this fall. Chuck Todd, the show’s host for the past nine years, is stepping into a new role as the network’s chief political analyst, and Kristen Welker, NBC’s chief White House correspondent, will take over the role in September. Here’s what to know about the show’s new host:

Welker has hosted the show before

Welker, who is 46, has regularly filled in for Todd during his tenure. She was also the co-host of “Meet the Press NOW,” a show on NBC’s online streaming network, NBC News NOW.

In 2020, she was named co-anchor of “Weekend TODAY,” alongside NBC’s Peter Alexander.

She’ll be the first Black journalist to host the show

Come September, Walker will become the 13th full-time host of “Meet the Press,” joining an impressive list that includes David Gregory, Tim Russert, Garrick Utley, Lawrence Spivak and Martha Rountree.

But Welker is only the second woman — Rountree, the show’s co-creator, was the first — and the first Black person to serve as the host.

Her 2020 debate moderating performance is worth a watch. Just ask Jimmy Fallon.

After Welker deftly navigated the 2020 presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, the media sang her praises, including “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon. “Think we can all agree the winner is Kristen Welker,” Fallon said, calling the performance a “knockout.”

Welker “did a bang-up job on the largest stage of any political journalist’s career, Playbook wrote at the time.

Her NBC roots run deep

Welker, a Harvard grad, was an intern for NBC’s “TODAY” in 1997, and worked as a researcher on “Weekend TODAY.”

She joined NBC News in 2010, and began covering the White House for the network at the end of 2011.

Here’s what some of her co-workers have to say:

“I can’t imagine a better choice to succeed @chucktodd as moderator of @MeetThePress,” Alexander, Welker’s fellow chief White House correspondent, tweeted. “@kwelkernbc is one of my closest friends in the world and one of the best (and hardest-working) journalists in the business! @NBCNews.”

“Wow !!! Classy @chucktodd announces he will step down after the summer and hand off to the brilliant @kwelkernbc his close colleague and White House correspondent,” NBC’s chief Washington correspondent and chief foreign affairs correspondent, Andrea Mitchell, wrote.

“So proud and happy for my two dear friends and colleagues, @chucktodd and @kwelkernbc They are the best of the best! As Tim would say, ‘go get ‘em!’” “TODAY” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie posted.


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