Chuck Todd, the host of “Meet the Press”, has been rumored to be getting the axe for years. On Sunday he confirmed that he was leaving the show after nearly a decade in order to focus on his family and future projects. In an on-air goodbye statement, he made the announcement official:
Today we close our show with an announcement from @chucktodd:
“While today is not my final show, this will be my final summer here at Meet the Press. … I am really proud of what this team and I have built over the last decade.” pic.twitter.com/sgeUcNR3C5
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) June 4, 2023
In his lengthy three-and-a-half-minute goodbye, he said he thought it would be better to get out early than wear out his welcome:
Welcome back. I have an important announcement to make. This is my last summer at Meet the Press. It’s been a fantastic run of almost ten years. I am really — proud of the team I have worked with over the past decade, and the 15 years or so that I was at NBC. This includes my time spent as political director. I have loved this job so much, explaining America to Washington as well as Washington to America…
I’d prefer to leave a bit early than stay too long. I’ve already planned my next professional chapter. I have some projects here at NBC News on which I’ve focused.
His monologue was delivered with a look of pain, which suggested that the decision might not have been his own. Who knows, but Todd is always a little irritated. Kristen Welker, a 46-year-old NBC presenter, will replace Todd.
The network’s “Meet the Press,” which was once the voice of the network, has faced low ratings and criticism because it has not been able to find a host who can match the gravitas or respect that the late Tim Russert had. Todd is not loved by either the left or the right. He’s too conservative for the Democrats of today, but his progressive views irritate Republicans.
There’s a popular hashtag on Twitter, #FireChuckTodd. Here’s what goes on:
They did it, those sons of bitches finally did it. Chuck Todd has been defunded https://t.co/RKT4mqZAdp
— Adam, Hershey supporter (@salsa_wits) June 4, 2023
Todd seems to take all criticism with a smile.
You are not doing your job correctly if you want to be popular. I consider the criticisms of partisans to be compliments and take their compliments with a pinch of salt. This and every episode of Meet the Press is designed to make you angry, think, and shake your head with disapproval or approval. We’ll be happy if you can accomplish all that in an hour. This is not goodbye.
Todd isn’t the first to fail in filling the void Russert left behind. Russert died at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack. He had been the host for 17 years. Todd’s predecessor David Gregory had a disastrous six-year tenure:
“It was handled with carelessness.” NBC made a decision that most people either agree with or disagree with. Gregory said in his first TV interview since leaving NBC that the situation was not appropriate and it was a difficult process.
Chuck Todd’s reign will end in September, so it looks like #FireChuckTodd fans will have to find a new hobby.