NBC News said Sunday that former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw would fill in as the moderator of Meet the Press until the presidential election in November.
The decision provides stability to a top-rated program that had been thrown into uncertainty after the death this month of Tim Russert, who had been moderator of Meet the Press since 1991 and Washington bureau chief to boot.
“To have someone of Tom’s stature step up and dedicate himself to ensuring its ongoing success is not only a testament to his loyalty to Tim, but his enduring commitment to NBC News and our viewers,” NBC News president Steve Capus said Sunday.
Brokaw hosted — with the chair empty — the program two days after Russert’s death. It was a remembrance of his friend. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams had been asked by Capus to host Sunday’s show with the guests — Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del. — that Russert had scheduled for what would have been his next show.
In a statement Sunday, Brokaw said that he had been appearing on Meet the Press since the early 1970s, “so I feel right at home. Tim made Meet the Press the center of the universe for informative and lively discussions of public affairs, particularly the exciting 2008 campaign for president, and I intend to continue that commitment to our viewers.”