Kristen Welker Named NBC White House Correspondent; Network Sets 2012 Politics Coverage

By Chris Ariens 

After several months of covering the beat, this morning NBC News has named Kristen Welker White House correspondent. The announcement comes as NBC announces their plans for covering the 2012 primaries and general election including the relaunch of

Welker, who joined NBC News in August 2010, was based in the Los Angeles bureau and began covering the White House when Savannah Guthrie left DC to join the “Today” show in New York.

“Today” show correspondent Peter Alexander will lead the network’s coverage of the Republican presidential race along with Ron Mott, following GOP candidates and the eventual nominee.


Chuck Todd, will continue to anchor his daily MSNBC show as well as his roles as NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent. He’ll oversee all aspects of the network’s political coverage.

NBC announced yesterday it had hired Perry Bacon as Political Editor of He’ll write and help develop the African-American news site’s political coverage as well as be an on-air contributor to MSNBC.

More details in the release after the jump…

NEW YORK, NY – December 14, 2011 – With less than a month until the first votes of the 2012 election cycle are cast, NBC News today announced major coverage assignments and unveiled an umbrella brand and a new online destination for the network’s political coverage, NBC Politics and

“From when you wake up with Matt and Ann, to the evenings with Brian, Sundays with David, and 24/7 at our digital home, NBC Politics will represent the best and the brightest reporting, coverage and analysis from the greatest team in politics,” said Steve Capus, President of NBC News. “Kristen and Peter have proven reporting skills and combined with the A-Team that already exists with David Gregory, Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Ron Allen, Ron Mott, Kelly O’Donnell and John Yang – this is the team you want to stick with during 2012.”

Correspondents and Coverage

Kristen Welker will officially take on the role of NBC News White House Correspondent, joining Chuck Todd and Mike Viqueira. Welker has filled in on the beat since June, reporting for all platforms of NBC News and traveling domestically and internationally with President Obama and the First Lady.

Peter Alexander will lead the network’s on-the-ground reporting of the Republican presidential race along with Ron Mott, following GOP candidates and the eventual nominee on the trail through election day. A seasoned team of correspondents comprised of Ron Allen, Andrea Mitchell, Kelly O’Donnell, and John Yang – in addition to the eight embed reporters already on the road – will contribute extensively to NBC’s coverage of the ever-changing Republican field.

Chuck Todd, NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent, will continue to oversee all aspects of the network’s political coverage, serving as the point person for political news and information.

In addition, NBC News announced this week that Perry Bacon, Jr. is joining as Political Editor based in Washington, DC. Bacon will both write and help develop the African-American news site’s political coverage, particularly for the 2012 election. He will also be a contributor to MSNBC.

Introducing: NBC Politics

NBC News and the Msnbc Digital Network also launched, a new digital home for the full range of reliable, responsible reporting fueled by the power of NBC News.

“The team behind NBC Politics covers every angle from Capitol Hill, the White House, the campaign trial, and throughout the political landscape,” said Antoine Sanfuentes, NBC News Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief. “With, we’re providing a dynamic, constantly-evolving online destination for trusted original journalism.”

“This political season will come to consumers continuously on three screens” said Charlie Tillinghast, President, Msnbc Digital Network. “With, we’ve created a unified experience that delivers video, social media updates, results, debates, news, and more to any screen at any time.”

“ brings together all of NBC News our news and analysis into one place – in video, text and interactive graphics – with a social overlay to make it easy to share and converse,” said Vivian Schiller, NBC News Chief Digital Officer. “With depth for the junkie and top news for the grazer, will be the one-stop shop for politics online.” features immediate, up-to-date access to the respected resources of NBC News, including:

* Video: Agenda-setting interviews and insight from “Meet the Press with David Gregory,” “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd,” “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” and “Morning Joe.”

* FirstRead: Fast-breaking political news and analysis from the NBC News Political Unit’s popular blog. Also on Twitter @NBCFirstRead.

* Social: Exclusive reports from eight NBC News journalists embedded on Republican presidential campaigns and in key primary states. Twitter users can follow the latest news @NBCPolitics.

* Foursquare Campaign Check-ins: NBC News has partnered with Foursquare to reveal exclusive location data from candidates and reporters on the campaign trail. Beginning in January 2012, users can view the candidates’ activity and also track the NBC embeds in real-time as they travel with the campaigns across the country.

* Battleground Map: In 2012, during the run up to the general election, this interactive map will give politically savvy users the tools to test potential electoral vote outcomes. How do different state election outcomes add up to 270 electoral votes need for victory? Use the map to test out different scenarios.

* Voter Confidence Index: The VCI measures the level of confidence the American electorate has in the president and his party at a given moment. This interactive tool shows levels of voter confidence for the current as well as past presidents.

* Candidate profiles: Profiles of President Barack Obama as well as the eight Republican Presidential Candidates: Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.