'Meet the Press' Hosts Through History

Moderators Have Led the News Program Described as the Nation's 51st State

Political journalist Chuck Todd is the "Meet the Press" host and only the 11th permanent moderator of a show that debuted in 1947 and has become synonymous with Sunday mornings, and whose influence earned it the reputation of being the 51st state. 

Todd was chosen to serve as "Meet the Press" host in August 2014. NBC's political director took over for David Gregory in what was described as an effort to make the show "the beating heart of politics, the place where newsmakers come to make news, where the agenda is set." 

A 12th person, Tom Brokaw, served as host on a temporary basis following the death of Tim Russert. Brokaw is not included in the list because his tenure was so brief. Here is a list of the "Meet the Press" hosts.

Chuck Todd (2014–Present)

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Todd took the helm of "Meet the Press" on Sept. 7, 2014. At the time, NBC News described the journalist as being of the "next generation" and as having a unique ability to deliver "razor-sharp analysis and infectious enthusiasm." Todd is a former editor of the "National Journal’s" The Hotline.

David Gregory (2008–2014)

David Gregory (L) speaks as NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd looks on

 Alex Wong / Getty Images for Meet the Press

Gregory assumed the role of "Meet the Press" moderator on Dec. 7, 2008, following the sudden death of Russert from cardiac arrest in June of that year. But he was unhappy in the job, ratings were slipping by 2014, and rumors swirled about his ouster. 

After he left the show, Gregory wrote of his final days:

"My relationship with 'Meet the Press' during that last year was like a marriage that you know is bad but you can’t leave. I was miserable, but I needed to be told the company didn’t support me before I could come to terms with the end. Although NBC backed me initially, the net­work decided late in the summer that it would not com­mit to me in the long term. Clearly, that was the signal that it was time to go."

Tim Russert (1991–2008)

Meet The Press
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Russert took over the helm of "Meet the Press" on December 8, 1991, and became the longest-serving moderator of the show to date for his 16 1/2 years of interviewing politicians. During that time, he earned widespread acclaim for his meticulous research and fairness in confronting elected officials. He died of a heart attack in June 2008. He was 58 years old.

Garrick Utley (1989–1991)

Garrick Utley
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Utley served as "Meet the Press" moderator from Jan. 29, 1989, to Dec. 1, 1991, according to NBC News records. He was also a host of the network's "Today" show. Utley initially shot to fame by reporting about the Vietnam War and was the first full-time television correspondent covering the war in-country.

Chris Wallace (1987–1988)

Final Presidential Debate Between Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump Held In Las Vegas
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Wallace served as "Meet the Press" moderator from May 10, 1987, to December 4, 1988. Wallace went on to have a successful and storied career, even moderating a 2016 presidential debate for another network, Fox News.

Marvin Kalb (1984–1987)

Marvin Kalb Listens To A Question From The Audience During His Conversation With Aol Time...
Manny Ceneta / Getty Images

Kalb was a co-moderator of "Meet the Press" with Roger Mudd from Sept. 16, 1984, to June 2, 1985; and then continued on alone for two years until May 4, 1987. Kalb has had a long career in journalism, and recently, current host Chuck Todd sat down with Kalb to talk about "The New Cold War."

Roger Mudd (1984–1985)

2013 Summer TCA Tour - Day 12
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Mudd was a co-moderator of "Meet the Press" with Marvin Kalb from Sept.16, 1984, to June 2, 1985. Mudd and Kalb were the only two people to co-moderate the show in its history. Mudd later also served as the co-anchor with Connie Chung on two other NBC news-magazine shows, "American Almanac" and "1986."

Bill Monroe (1975–1984)

Monroe was the moderator of "Meet the Press" from November 16, 1975, to September 9, 1984. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter used a “Meet the Press” interview with Monroe to announce that the United States would boycott the Olympics in Moscow that year to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, according to Monroe's 2011 obituary published in The New York Times.

Lawrence Spivak (1966–1975)

West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt inviting Lawrence Spivak, left, to try sniffing snuff.

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Spivak was a co-creator of "Meet the Press" and served as moderator from January 1, 1966, to November 9, 1975. Spivak was one of the first broadcasters to use panels of reporters to interview national and international leaders — a key component of the show that the other major networks at the time, NBC and CBS, copied to create similar news magazine programs of their own.

Ned Brooks (1953–1965)

Portrait of Victor Riesel and Ned Brooks

 Bettmann / Getty Images

Brooks served as moderator of "Meet the Press" from November 22, 1953, to December 26, 1965. Brooks was the second-longest tenured moderator of the program, after Tim Russert.

Martha Rountree (1947–1953)

Martha Rountree;Thomas E. Dewey

 Mark Kauffman / The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Rountree was the co-founder of "Meet the Press" and only female moderator of the show to date. She served as the show's host from November 6, 1947, to November 1, 1953. Rountree also had the first female guest on the show on September 12, 1948, according to a history of the show published by NBC News. She was Elizabeth Bentley, a former Soviet spy.

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Murse, Tom. "'Meet the Press' Hosts Through History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/list-of-meet-the-press-moderators-3368307. Murse, Tom. (2020, August 28). 'Meet the Press' Hosts Through History. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/list-of-meet-the-press-moderators-3368307 Murse, Tom. "'Meet the Press' Hosts Through History." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/list-of-meet-the-press-moderators-3368307 (accessed November 28, 2022).