The NBC News White House correspondent also interned at the Today show in 1997


The Today show family is expanding!

NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker is joining the team as co-anchor of Weekend Today every Saturday morning alongside Peter Alexander. The news was confirmed earlier this week and was officially announced Friday on-air by Carson Daly, Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker.

“We are so proud of you … this is really a full-circle moment for you,” said Guthrie as she cued up a montage of Welker’s time at the network, which began when she was an intern at the Today show in 1997.

“I promised myself I wasn’t going to get emotional but that was unbelievable,” said Welker, 43, after the clip played. “Thank you so much for this welcome. To have come here as an intern, for the Today show to shoot that real — I looked so serious!”

“To be terrified like that and then to come and sit at this desk and to sit next to my friend Peter Alexander every Saturday, it is the honor of a lifetime,” she added. “Thank you for that welcome. I love you guys.”

Kristen Welker
Credit: Paul Morigi/WireImage

Alexander appeared via satellite from Washington, D.C. to congratulate his colleague.

“First of all, I can’t wait for our first cooking segment. This is going to be so much fun,” he said. “Kristen is what I call my big little sister. She is one of my best friends in the world, not just professionally, but personally. I really do consider her a part of my family as I consider myself a part of hers. We are going to have so much fun together!”

Added Guthrie, “We are so proud of you. We have been watching your career all these years — no one works harder, no is a better colleague, a more generous colleague. Just a delight.”

Welker has been an occasional fill-in anchor on Weekend Today in the past, as well as a researcher for the show. She is also a former weekend anchor at WCAU, NBC’s local Philadelphia affiliate.

The news comes after co-anchor Sheinelle Jones‘ announcement that she will be stepping away from Weekend Today to spend more time with her family. Jones co-anchored the show for five years and will remain as a co-host on the third hour of the Today show.