‘Meet the Press’ Turns 75: Where Are Its Former Moderators Now?

Chris Wallace Tom Brokaw David Gregory
Wallace: NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection, Brokaw: Len Irish/TV Guide/NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection, Gregory: Virginia Sherwood/NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

For three-quarters of a century, NBC has invited politicians to weigh in on the issues of the day on Meet the Press. In fact, the legendary news talker — which turns 75 on November 6 — is now the longest-running program on American television. The weekly interview show debuted in 1947, six months before CBS Evening News, America’s second longest-running program.

Among its high-profile guests, Meet the Press has hosted sit-downs with many U.S. presidents, including John F. Kennedy, who called the show the “51st state.”

And along the way, the program has had a dozen moderators, starting with the woman responsible for creating the series (and the only woman to have sat in the moderator chair to date). Read on to see the timeline of moderators and details on each one’s career.

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Martha Rountree
NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

1947–1953: Martha Rountree

Rountree both created Meet the Press and served as its first moderator. After her stint on the show, she became a lecturer and founded a nonprofit political research foundation called Leadership, according to her New York Times obituary. She died in 1999 at age 87.

Lawrence Spivak Ned Brooks
Courtesy: Everett Collection

1953–1965: Ned Brooks

Brooks retired in 1967, not long after giving up the Meet the Press desk, and he passed away at age 68 in 1969. Before joining NBC in 1947, Brooks (right, with his successor in the chair, series producer Lawrence Spivak) had worked his way up the ranks at the Youngstown Telegram newspaper in Ohio, according to the Times.

Ned Brooks Lawrence Spivak
NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

1966–1975: Lawrence Spivak

Spivak — seen at center here with Brooks and then-Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen — produced Meet the Press, working for years with Rountree and becoming the series’ third moderator. He spent his later years as a consultant for the NBC and as a producer of PBS television shows, according to the Library of Congress. He died in 1994 at age 93.

Bill Monroe
NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

1975–1984: Bill Monroe

Following his Meet the Press tenure, Monroe served as editor of the Washington Journalism Review, ombudsman of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, and editor of the Pentagon’s internal “Early Bird” news service, per The Washington Post. He died at age 90 in 2011.

Roger Mudd
NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

1984–1985: Roger Mudd

Between the end of his Meet the Press co-hosting stint and his 2021 death at age 93, Mudd reported for PBS’ MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, taught journalism at Princeton University, and hosted History Channel programs, according to USA Today.

Marvin Kalb
NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

1984–1987: Marvin Kalb

Kalb, 92, is a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, which released his latest book, Assignment Russia: Becoming a Foreign Correspondent in the Crucible of the Cold War, in 2021. He was also the founding director of Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

Chris Wallace

1987–1988: Chris Wallace

After moderating Meet the Press, Wallace moved on to careers with ABC News and Fox News, notably hosting Fox News Sunday between 2003-21. The 75-year-old’s current interview show, Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?, premiered on CNN+ earlier this year — just before that streaming service shut down — and then migrated to CNN and HBO Max.

Garrick Utley
NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

1989–1991: Garrick Utley

Utley moved on from his time at NBC News with years-long stints at ABC News and CNN. He later served as president of SUNY’s Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce and professor of broadcasting and journalism at SUNY Oswego, according to the Times. He died in 2014 at age 74.

Tim Russert
NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

1991–2008: Tim Russert

Russert was still moderator of Meet the Press when he died in 2008 at age 58. Then alsoNBC News’ Washington bureau chief, Russert was recording voiceovers for a Meet the Press broadcast when he suffered a sudden coronary thrombosis and collapsed. Tom Brokaw, Russert’s successor on the show, called him “one of the premier political journalists and analysts of his time,” per NBC News.

Tom Brokaw
Len Irish/TV Guide/NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

2008: Tom Brokaw

Brokaw’s time as interim Meet the Press host came a few years after the end of his 22-year era as NBC Nightly News anchor — and at a time when he was still a special correspondent for NBC News. When Brokaw, now 82, retired in 2021, NBC hailed him as the only anchor to have hosted all of its primary news shows: NBC Nightly News, Today, and Meet the Press.

David Gregory
Virginia Sherwood/NBC/Courtesy: Everett Collection

2008–2014: David Gregory

Gregory, 52, is now working as a political analyst for CNN and — judging from his Instagram updates— enjoying quality time with his family. He also released a book, How’s Your Faith? An Unlikely Spiritual Journey, in 2015.

Chuck Todd
Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for Meet The Press

2014–present: Chuck Todd

Todd inherited the show in 2014 and remains its moderator, despite speculation this August that he would be replaced. “We are immensely proud of Meet the Press — its legacy, its purpose, and its growth with new audiences,” an NBC News spokesperson told the Poynter Report at the time. “We are especially proud of Chuck’s leadership and continued commitment to engaging a whole new generation of viewers in ways the program’s Washington peers are only beginning to imagine. That’s been our focus since day one and it continues to pay off for the brand.”