Chuck Todd is replacing David Gregory as the host of “Meet the Press,” NBC announced Thursday, capping heavy speculation that a moderator switch at the venerated Sunday show was in the works amid a steady ratings decline.

Todd will assume the host’s chair Sept. 7, NBC News President Deborah Turness said in a staff memo. He will remain NBC News’ political director, but leave his position as chief White House correspondent and host of MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.”

“There is no one with a bigger passion for politics than Chuck,” Turness said. “His unique ability to deliver that passion with razor-sharp analysis and infectious enthusiasm makes him the perfect next generation moderator of this beloved broadcast. Chuck will ensure that ‘Meet the Press’ is the beating heart of politics, the place where newsmakers come to make news, where the agenda is set.”

NBC’s Chuck Todd moderates the debate with Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliff and Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce debate, Sept. 25, 2013, in McLean, Va. (AP Photo/The Washington Post, Nikki Kahn, Pool)

Gregory said he’s leaving NBC entirely, tweeting that serving as the moderator of “Meet the Press” was “the highest honor there is.”

“I leave NBC as I came – humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is,” Gregory tweeted. “I have great respect for my colleagues at NBC News and wish them all well. To the viewers, I say thank you.”

Turness praised Gregory for netting “a string of exclusives” during his tenure and for his “remarkable gift for holding leaders to account and getting answers on issues that matter to our audience.”

Gregory served as the host of “Meet the Press” for about six years, taking the reins after Tim Russert’s death in 2008.

Following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Gregory notably brandished a high-capacity ammunition magazine on national television, in violation of Washington, D.C., law. The D.C. attorney general declined to bring any criminal charges against Gregory or anyone at NBC.

This post has been updated.