WASHINGTON - Barack Obama made news on

Meet the Press

yesterday morning, but the NBC program made some news as well in the final moments.

Tom Brokaw, the interim moderator, confirmed what had already leaked out in recent days: The new host of the 60-year-old program will be David Gregory.

The network's senior White House correspondent, now host of MSNBC's

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

, had been considered the front-runner for the post, which became vacant when longtime moderator Tim Russert died in June.

Other leading contenders had been Chuck Todd, NBC's political director, and Gwen Ifill, host of PBS's

Washington Week

.

Gregory, 38, frequently clashed with President Bush's spokesmen during his days as a White House reporter. But he also has a witty side, which he often displayed while filling in as a cohost on the

Today

show.