Chuck Todd signed off his final broadcast of Meet the Press on Sunday, capping off a stint that began in 2014.
Todd, 51, uttered the show’s catchphrase “If it’s Sunday...it’s Meet the Press” for a final time as he handed off the reins of America’s longest-running TV program to Kristen Welker, his longtime NBC colleague and successor.
He told viewers in his sign-off that he would be staying at NBC and that he was proud of his work as the show’s moderator. Meet the Press won an Emmy under his leadership just last year, and has been the dominant Sunday political news show in Washington for decades.
“One thing we all lament lately is the lack of knowledge and nuance in our politics and citizenship. That's a vacuum I hope to continue to fill whether in our continued news coverage here at NBC via other venues like docu-series, docu-dramas, focused on bridging our divides, piercing these political bubbles,” said Todd on Sunday. “And I will continue, of course, to be a big part of NBC’s political coverage because, as Tom Brokaw said to me, ‘Look, some networks do some things well, but nobody does politics like NBC.’”
Todd previously announced that he would be remaining with the network as its chief political analyst while also moving on to producing longer projects with a political bent, aimed at healing divisions in American life.
Having a reputation as one of the few NBC programmes that still regularly attracts Republican guests, Todd won both praise and criticism for his handling of America’s widening political divides, especially after the 2020 election. In 2019, he drew criticism after admitting that he had been “naive” about the increasingly dishonest nature of the pro-Trump right and the officials who served in the Trump administration. The Washington political media sphere in general, which Meet the Press often emblemises, has faced increasing criticism in recent years for a kind of “politics as sports”-style of coverage that has been accused of ignoring the real-life stakes behind the issues being discussed.
Todd answered some of those criticisms in 2021 when he explained the logic behind refusing to ban people responsible for spreading lies about the 2020 election from his show, something that others such as CNN’s Jake Tapper have suggested.
“You don’t know when somebody you think deserves to be banned is suddenly somebody that you’ve got to deal with,” he said on a podcast that year.
His final broadcast of Meet the Press was attended by a who’s who list of NBC reporters, pundits and hosts on Sunday, where guests enjoyed a toast led by NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde at the studio following his hand-off to Welker.
Mr Conde told Todd: “I recall you saying that your mission at Meet the Press was to leave it better than how you found it. And on behalf of all of us here today, on behalf of all of us at NBCUniversal I want to say a heartfelt thank you because you have done that.”
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