OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
MSNBC and NBC “Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd is departing the show after criticism from both conservatives and liberals.
Todd announced on Sunday that he would be leaving the show. He will be replaced by NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker, NBC News reported.
“It’s been an amazing nearly decadelong run. I am really proud of what this team and I have built over the last decade,” he said during the show. “I’ve loved so much of this job, helping to explain America to Washington and explain Washington to America.”
He will stay as a part of the NBC News team as a chief political analyst and focus on longform journalism.
“When I took over ‘Meet the Press,’ it was a Sunday show that had a lot of people questioning whether it still could have a place in the modern media space,” he said. “Well, I think we’ve answered that question and then some.”
NBC News’ president of editorial, Rebecca Blumenstein, and NBC News’ senior vice president of politics, Carrie Budoff Brown addressed his departure in a memo to staff.
“‘Meet the Press’ has sustained its historic role as the indispensable news program on Sunday mornings,” they said. “Through his penetrating interviews with many of the most important newsmakers, the show has played an essential role in politics and policy, routinely made front-page news, and framed the thinking in Washington and beyond.”
NBC News reported.
Welker joins the ranks of hosts that included Tim Russert, who presided over the show from 1991 until his death in 2008. She is the second woman — following its inaugural host, Martha Rountree — and the first Black journalist to moderate “Meet the Press.”
“Meet the Press” is the longest-running show on American television, celebrating its 75th anniversary last year. It has led its rival shows in total viewers for more than eight years and won its first Emmy during Todd’s tenure for a special report titled “Schools, America, and Race.”
But Todd’s program has had its issues.
“In top-secret rating data that has caught the attention of network brass, RadarOnline.com learned Meet The Press — the longest-running show in television history — recorded its lowest-rated quarter over the April-May-June period. Todd peaked at more than 4 million viewers in the first quarter of 2017 (January-February-March) in the midst of Donald Trump’s presidency,” Radar Online reported.
“But in recent Nielsen Media Research ratings, the magic number faded to a paltry 2.4 million — shaving off a third of the notoriously goateed anchor’s audience. Making matters even worse for the Peacock network and its executive, Todd has also been in ratings free fall with viewers in the younger A25-54 demo,” the report continued.
“At his peak, the man who ex-prez Trump referred to as sleepy eyes had more than 1.2 million viewers in the first quarter of 2017, the same period when he enjoyed 4 million overall viewers. But over the past three months, the star NBC political analyst logged just 492,000 fans in the all-important younger demographic,” the report added.
“This does not augur well for Chuck,” an industry insider told Radar Online. “Chuck lost his gig at MSNBC and the guise that he’d rather leave MSNBC completely and focus on Meet the Press on Sunday.”
In January, it was reported that NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is out as part of a major restructuring of leadership at the company.
NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde made the announcement, saying: “The appointments of Rebecca, Libby, and Janelle provide a powerful foundation for the News Group as it continues to grow its leadership position. NBC News, together with CNBC and MSNBC and through our many programs and platforms, reaches more Americans than any other news organization. The extraordinary accomplishments of Rebecca, Libby and Janelle and their visions will keep us on the path of continued success, delivering the highest quality journalism in the United States and around the world.”