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Today Show stars bid farewell to beloved colleague as she prepares for coveted new gig

Weekend Today anchor Kirsten Welker is departing the show after three years

Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Kristen Welker on the Today Show on Friday, January 10, 2020
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
27 August 2023
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The Today Show family is bidding farewell to one of their own, as their colleague embarks on their exciting, highly-coveted new gig.

Weekend Today anchors Peter Alexander, Joe Fryer, and Angie Lassman gave a proper send off to their co-star Kristen Welker, who after three years is leaving the Today family for her new role as moderator of Meet the Press, which also airs on NBC.

In honor of her departure, the political correspondent's colleagues surprised her with an on-air tribute, where they highlighted some of her best moments on the air.

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After the bittersweet video montage, none other than her husband John Hughes came out to surprise her, along with their daughter Margot.

In tribute to Kristen, her co-star Peter said: "I would just say how much you have taught me. We together have enjoyed the moment, and the moments we have shared for the last three years, I will cherish as some of the best you ever get. 

"Sometimes you don't realize how good you have it until it's gone. I’m just grateful we've been able to enjoy this time so much."

Kristen grew emotional as she gave her own goodbye toast, first admitting: "You've left me completely speechless," before she said: "I want to say to our viewers. Thank you all for joining us every Saturday for this show that we are so proud of."

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She continued: "To the entire Weekend TODAY team, which is the A-team, the most amazing team in the world led by Matt Carluccio and Dave Scheier. I am so grateful for all of you for making this a family. We have been family every single Saturday," before noting: "To my actual family, John and Margot, the loves of my life."

Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Kristen Welker on the Today Show on Friday, January 10, 2020© Getty
Kristen joined the Today team in 2020

Kristen concluded: "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."

The news anchor's new gig as moderator of Meet the Press – where she is starting September 17, replacing departing moderator Chuck Toddwas first announced on July 13.

Jacob Soboroff, Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander on Thursday, December 29, 2022 on Today Show© Getty
The anchor hosted Weekend Today with Peter, who remains as host

Come September, Kristen will become the long-running news show's 13th moderator in its 76-year history. Her predecessor became moderator back in 2014, when he replaced David Greggory, who himself replaced Tim Russert following his 2008 passing.

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Moderator Chuck Todd, Kristen Welker, NBC News Chief White House Correspondent, and NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams appear on Meet the Press in Washington, D.C. Sunday, July 31, 2022© Getty
Kristen has already previously contributed to Meet the Press

Kristen first became NBC White House correspondent in December 2011, and became the regular co-anchor of Weekend Today in January of 2020.

She has been part of the NBC family since 1997, when she became an intern for Today at age 21, while she studied at Harvard, from where she graduated the following year with a major in history. She joined the network in an official capacity in 2005 at affiliate WCAU in Philadelphia, later joining NBC News in 2010 as a correspondent based at the news organization's West Coast Headquarters in Burbank, California.

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