Brian Williams, Matt Lauer … Kristen Welker?

The Philly-bred reporter is headed for the big leagues as a national correspondent for "Nightly News"

As the only child of Fairmount uber-realtor Julie Welker, NBC10’s Kristen Welker knows it’s all about location, location, location.

Hers will improve dramatically as of Aug. 30, when she joins NBC as a Burbank-based correspondent, it was announced yesterday. She’ll report for all NBC platforms, including “Nightly News,” “Today” and MSNBC.

Given the trajectory of  NBC10 alums at 30 Rock, Welker could be headed for the fast track.

NBC News president Steve Capus wrote news copy at NBC10 while still a Temple undergrad. “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams covered South Jersey in a van.  “Today’s” Matt Lauer co-hosted a mercifully short-lived entertainment show, “Live on City Line.” Don Lemon, now at CNN, was a reporter.

“It’s hard not to feel inspired and excited that I’m following in their footsteps, to some extent,” says Welker, 34, formerly weekend anchor at NBC10. She joined the station in ’05 from Providence, R.I.

“It doesn’t suggest that I’ll rise to the level of Brian Williams.”

Speaking of BW, “They still talk about his scripts” at the old shop, Welker says. “He was a great writer.”

Welker, a Harvard grad who prepped at Germantown Friends, is no stranger to NBC. She just finished a two-month, fill-in stint as a national correspondent in Burbank. And she did a summer internship at “Today” after her junior year at Harvard.

Welker always wanted to be a reporter. As a youngster, she remembers watching “CBS Evening News” with her dad when anchor Dan Rather was covering a hurricane somewhere, wrapped around a pole and blowin’ in the wind.

“My father said, ‘That’s what you have to do if you want to be a great reporter. You have to go into the eye of hurricane,’” she recalls.

Julie Welker, a former City Council candidate, describes her daughter as “the greatest reporter who’s ever walked the Earth.” (Once a politician…) “I know how hard she works.”

She’s not all work. Welker’s boyfriend, Andrew Mulroney, 35, an internet tech at the Kimmel Center, may join her in California, she says. They grew up with the same friends.

Now that she has to relocate in a hurry, Welker says her mother is helping her rent out her Art Museum Area condo.

In Burbank, however, “I actually rented an apartment on my own,” she says proudly.

GAIL SHISTER, TV columnist for the Inquirer for 25 years, teaches writing at Penn and is a columnist for She writes for The Philly Post on Tuesdays.