David Gregory Thursday announced his long-rumored departure as moderator of NBC's Meet the Press via Twitter.

He tweeted: "I leave NBC as I came - humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is."

He continued with a second tweet, expressing appreciation to his colleagues and to viewers of the long-running Sunday-morning political talk show. "I have great respect for my colleagues at NBC News and wish them all well. To the viewers, I say thank you."

NBC chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd has been considered the front-runner to replace Gregory on Meet the Press, the longest-running program on network television.

Gregory took over Meet the Press in December 2008, months after the death of longtime moderator Tim Russert in June of that year. Tom Brokaw helmed the broadcast in the months leading up to that year's historic presidential election.

Rumors of Gregory's possible ouster have risen as the show's ratings have declined. In the TV season to date, Meet the Press is down 5% and 6%, respectively, in viewers and in adults 25 to 54, the primary news demographic.

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