Joe Scarborough on Why He’s the Happiest He’s Ever Been at MSNBC

By Alissa Krinsky 

For Joe Scarborough, 2016 will be more than just an election year. It’s also when Morning Joe will kick off its 10th year on the air.

“That’s frightening!” he said with a laugh when reminded about the milestone, adding that he’s pleasantly surprised at the show’s longevity.

“Surprised… that we survived physically, waking up [so early] every morning, but also we’re surprised that the show is really as hot as it was back in 2008—which was always what we considered to be our best year, because everybody was paying attention [to that year’s  election].”


Morning Joe’s coverage of presidential politics this time around is garnering viewer reaction that “seems to be more intense than ever,” he said.

TVNewser caught up with Scarborough in Chicago Thursday night, as he joined co-anchor Mika Brzezinski, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CNN senior political analyst David Axelod, and Sen. Claire McCaskill, at a local gallery showing of work by Brzezinski’s mother, the sculptor Emilie Brzezinski.

Scarborough, Brzezinski, and McCaskill are in the Windy City today to participate in Mika’s “Know Your Value” event, focusing on women’s economic empowerment.  It’s a topic frequently discussed on Morning Joe.

“We’re having such a good time right now, why not just keep doing it?” Scarborough said. MSNBC has its co-anchors under contract through 2018.

Scarborough’s enthusiasm is bolstered by changes at the network that have the cabler focusing on more traditional news coverage than in years past.  Scarborough says he and Brzezinski are “thrilled with the direction that the network’s gone in… We love it.”

“I always speak my mind, and I’ve not always said great things about MSNBC,” said Scarborough. “I’ve been really disappointed at some things that have happened through the years at the network, but this is the happiest I’ve ever been with the direction.”

That includes having former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams join the MSNBC team, helming live coverage for the first time this week.

“[Brian’s] got a really great, humble attitude about it all, and Mika and I are thrilled that he’s back. The fact that you can turn on the news in the middle of the day, and hear Brian Williams talking about the Pope arriving in New York—for us, that’s a huge trade up,” Scarborough said.

CNN analyst David Axelrod, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Emilie Brzezinski and Mika Brzezinski at a gallery exhibit for Emilie's work.

CNN analyst David Axelrod, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Emilie Brzezinski and Mika Brzezinski at a gallery exhibit for Emilie’s work in Chicago Sept. 24. (Photo: Alissa Krinsky)