As the first Black host of ‘Meet the Press,’ Kristen Welker brings a fresh perspective to the iconic program. This article is sponsored by Discover, who believes diverse voices should be celebrated and heard and is proud to amplify those who share this mission.
Kristen Welker officially bid farewell to her Weekend TODAY family at the popular morning television show in September 2023, but her departure was anything but a sad goodbye.
The Saturday morning host joined the team at Meet the Press as the moderator of the longest-running show in American television history. Welker made history as the first Black journalist to moderate the historic show, becoming the 13th moderator following her predecessor Chuck Todd.
“Chuck brought me to D.C. to cover the White House many years ago, and I have learned almost everything I know about politics from Chuck Todd,” Welker toldVariety. “And I just want to make sure that I am making him proud and that I am building on the incredible legacy that he started and also the legacy of the show.”Welker became the new moderator of Meet the Press on Sept. 17, 2023. In an interview with WTMJ, an affiliate of NBC Milwaukee, she shared 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.”
Who Is Kristen Welker?
Welker cemented herself as a powerhouse in the political world as a presidential campaign reporter since 2011. She was recognized for her calm, cool, and collected demeanor as she moderated the last presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in 2020.
Before she became the new moderator for Meet the Press, Welker was a network correspondent in California, where she first joined the NBC News team in 2010. She was then nominated for a National Emmy Award during her first year for her midterm election coverage. Welker later won a National Emmy Award for her Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 coverage.
But before her work in the political space, Welker studied American History and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1998. In 2020, the National Association of Black Journalists awarded her the Journalist of the Year title. It comes as no surprise that her extensive education and experience have earned her many awards throughout the years.
Kristen Welker Exited ‘Today’ On A Sweet Note
As part of her final appearance on Weekend TODAY, her co-anchors — Peter Alexander, Joe Fryer, and Angie Lassman — planned a farewell party to celebrate her three years on set. This included a video montage of her greatest moments on air, a special tribute from Alexander, and a surprise appearance from her husband, John Hughes, and their daughter, Margot.
She ended by thanking her viewers with a toast, saying, “I want to say to our viewers. Thank you all for joining us every Saturday for this show that we are so proud of.”
Welker also thanked the entire Weekend TODAY team, calling it “the most amazing team in the world.” And to her co-anchor in crime, she gushed, “Peter, to get to anchor this show with you, to get to do something you love with your best friend, someone who has become like a brother to me, has just been the greatest joy of all time. So thank you, thank you, thank you.”