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Luke Russert is leaving NBC News: 'It's the right decision for me at this time'

Luke Russert is leaving NBC News: 'It's the right decision for me at this time'
Luke Russert, shown in 2014, is leaving the TV news business. (Associated Press)

Luke Russert, the son of the late "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert, has decided to get out of the family business.

Russert, 30, is leaving NBC News, where he has covered Capitol Hill since 2009. He told executives at the network earlier this year that he did not want to continue in his role, but made it official now that Congress has adjourned.

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"It has been a privilege and an honor for me to have worked for NBC News for the last eight years," he said in an internal memo. "I will always be eternally grateful for all the opportunities I've received and for the incredible people I've gotten to know along the way. NBC News is family, and while it's hard to leave, it's the right decision for me at this time."

Russert was first hired in July 2008 to cover the youth vote during that year's presidential election campaign. He took the position just a month after the death of his father, who had been a beloved, near-mythic figure at NBC News during his run as Washington bureau chief and moderator of the network's long-running Sunday public affairs program "Meet the Press."

In his message to colleagues, Luke Russert acknowledged that the circumstances of his hiring just after college graduation gave him little time to focus on whether he wanted to follow his father's legacy.

"It's fair to say my broadcast career began in an unusual way after college graduation and the death of my father," he said. "As a result, I threw myself into the work and never took the time to reflect, to travel and to experience many things that would have given me a clearer sense of what my future should be. Now at 30, I look forward to taking some time away from political reporting and focusing my efforts on other endeavors that I've long wanted to pursue."

Luke Russert's mother is Maureen Orth, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine.

Twitter: @SteveBattaglio

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