Chuck Todd, editor of The Hotline, the closely followed daily roundup of the nuts and bolts of American politics, was named Wednesday as political director of NBC News.
“There’s NBC and then there’s everybody else,” Todd said in a statement released by the network. “I am honored to have the opportunity to cover this generation’s most important election on network television’s most influential stage.”
Since its founding in the early 1990s, The Hotline has expanded to become the first stop for politicos seeking their daily fix. It is published by National Journal, the Washington-based political weekly that is an editorial partner of NBC News and MSNBC.com.
(MSNBC.com is a joint venture of NBC Universal and Microsoft.)
Steve Capus, president of NBC News, said Todd’s hiring was a significant victory for the network. He described Todd as “one of the most experienced political journalists in this country.”
Todd, who will be based at the NBC bureau on Washington, already writes a column that appears on MSNBC.com.
“Chuck understands the power of bringing together television and the Web and old-fashioned reporting and presenting the news in new ways, and that’s where we hope to go with our political coverage,” said Russ Shaw, MSNBC.com’s deputy editor for news, who oversees the site’s political coverage.
Todd assumes his new duties March 12, replacing Elizabeth Wilner, who resigned this week after four years, citing personal reasons. Tim Russert, NBC’s Washington bureau chief, thanked Wilner in a statement “for her outstanding contributions and valued expertise over the years.”
Todd will also succeed Wilner as editor of First Read, NBC News’ entry in the daily political sweepstakes, at a time when the market for insider political coverage is in flux.
First Read competes for the same relatively small pool of voracious political junkies who are attracted to The Hotline and similar online publications by ABC News, CBS News, The Washington Post, two Capitol Hill newspapers, Congressional Quarterly and the Politico, a new Web-centered venture. Many of those publications are battling it out for marquee political talent as the 2008 presidential campaign throttles up.
“Today’s announcement formalizes and expands his role with NBC News, underscoring the strength of our partnership with National Journal,” Capus said.