Today Show’s Sheinelle Jones announced last month that she would be vacating her chair on Weekend Today. The six-day work week caught up with the mom of three, where she made the decision to drop the weekend work and just stick with Monday through Friday on the third hour of Today.
The journalist taking Jones spot on the weekend morning news program was just named and is receiving a warm welcome from colleagues.
“As much as I love my Saturday Today family, this is going to be my last day anchoring the show,” Jones announced to viewers on December 21. With three young kids 10 years old and under, the news woman shared that she wanted more time with her family.
“Since I’m so busy on the weekdays, I thought, you know what, I should probably see those three children that I have at home,” Jones said, according to Today.com. “They’re 7-year-old twins and a 10-year-old — Kayin, Clara and Uche — every time I look up, I feel like they look like they’re a little bit older so I’m going to be home with them on Saturday mornings.”
While she’ll remain on Today Monday through Friday mornings, leaving co-hosts Peter Alexander and Dylan Dreyer wasn’t easy. “It has been an incredible five plus years,” Jones said of her time on the show.
NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker will be picking up where Jones left off. Already serving as a fill-in anchor on Weekend Today, the appointment of Welker as a permanent co-host on the show was a perfect segue from Jones’ departure.
With Dreyer now on maternity leave, Welker’s first few months on the job will be alongside co-anchor Alexander. “Beyond thrilled to welcome @kwelkernbc to @TODAYshow!” he tweeted on January 8. “Can’t wait to share Saturday mornings with one of my closest friends & colleagues.”
A seasoned journalist
Welker comes firmly established as a news woman. Prior to becoming a member of the NBC News team, she was a reporter and weekend anchor at WLNE-TV in Providence, Rhode Island, and served as anchor and reporter at KRCR-TV in Redding, California, according to Deadline. Joining NBC News in 2010, Welker was initially based in Los Angeles.
The journalist has been immersed in political reporting, where she traveled nationwide to cover the 2016 election for NBC. Welker was one of four females to moderate the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta in November on MSNBC.
Welker is married to John Hughes, whom she met in 2014. The Weekend Today co-host revealed that Hughes won her over on their second date, when she was set to travel to Asia the following day to cover a trip by President Barack Obama.
At the end of her date with Hughes, he handed her an envelope which contained a crossword puzzle of presidential trivia, along with clues he had written himself. “That’s the moment he got me,” Welker said, according to The New York Times. “As a White House correspondent, it was so touching, and it marked him different than anyone else I ever dated.” The two married in 2017.
Adweek reports that Welker will keep her role as NBC’s White House correspondent, where she’s been reporting since December 2011. While being based in Washington, Welker will head to New York on Fridays to co-anchor the Saturday morning news show.
Congrats to Weekend Today’s newest co-host!