Thomas Roberts has officially been named host of MSNBC’s “Way Too Early.” He will begin in his new role on January 13, MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced this morning.
“Thomas’ unique personality and point of view are just the right mix to lead-in to ‘Morning Joe.’ Thomas has really found his voice in the past year and joining the ‘Morning Joe’ table gives him the opportunity to further develop it,” Griffin said in a statement.
Roberts takes over for Brian Shactman, who has been hosting the early-morning show since Willie Geist was named co-anchor of the 9 a.m. hour of “Today.”
The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Roberts’ move to the morning shift was an attempt to make MSNBC’s early-morning hours more “diverse.”
“Mika and I worked with Thomas in Oklahoma City after last spring’s tornado and became fans,” Joe Scarborough said in a statement provided to TVNewser. “Despite internet speculation, he was chosen based strictly on merit and not politically correct considerations.”
Read the full release from MSNBC after the jump.
THOMAS ROBERTS NAMED HOST OF MSNBC’S “WAY TOO EARLY”
NEW YORK – January 3, 2014 – Thomas Roberts has been named host of MSNBC’s “Way Too Early” (5:30-6:00 a.m.) starting Monday, Jan. 13. Roberts will also contribute regularly to “Morning Joe” (6:00 – 9:00 a.m.). The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC.
“This is a very exciting opportunity and right in line with my career goals and aspirations,” said Roberts. “I really admire what Joe, Mika, Willie and Brian have built with ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Way Too Early.’ I am flattered to join this morning family. I also appreciate Phil’s faith in me and can’t wait to get started.”
“Thomas’ unique personality and point of view are just the right mix to lead-in to “Morning Joe.” Thomas has really found his voice in the past year and joining the “Morning Joe” table gives him the opportunity to further develop it,” said Griffin. “I’m proud of the excellent work Brian Shactman did on ‘Way Too Early’ and thank him for a job well done.”
“After several months of consideration and discussions with Phil Griffin about expanding my role at MSNBC, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want politics to be my only focus,” said Brian Shactman. “I want to continue to branch out, making sure my career is not solely defined by that. I’m so appreciative of what Phil, Joe and Mika have done for me and I look forward to announcing my next venture in the very near future.”
Thomas Roberts has been host of “MSNBC Live” at 11 a.m. since 2010. He’s also been a fill-in host and contributor to “Morning Joe,” “Way Too Early,” and NBC’s “Today.” MSNBC will announce a new host for the 11 a.m. hour in the coming weeks.
Alex Korson is the executive producer of “Way Too Early” and “Morning Joe.”