Rita Cosby Was “Made For Our Primetime”

By Brian 

The first question to new MSNBC 9pm anchor Rita Cosby was obvious: Why did she leave first-place Fox News for MSNBC?

“Look, I loved Fox News, I was there for 10 years. But NBC has such a depth that no other news organization has,” she told TVNewser this afternoon. She pointed out that Fox doesn’t have a network news operation, and described her first few days at MSNBC.

“Look what happened my first week here — we did an interview with Jermaine Jackson, and then Tito, and the second week Katherine Jackson. And we paired it with the Today Show…we ended up doing two parts on Today and we ended up doing a special on MSNBC,” she said.

Cosby is “thrilled” by the opportunity to host a live show five nights a week. “I’m a real down-and-dirty journalist, roll up your sleeves. I like to get in the trenches. I think you’re going to see a very active, breaking news, big scoops, fast-paced show” — at this point, it was hard to transcribe her comments, because she sounded so enthusiastic.

> “She was made for our primetime,” MSNBC president Rick Kaplan chimed in, calling her an “extraordinary talent.”

> I asked if the show would adopt the Grace-and-Greta style of crime stories. “It’ll be Rita Cosby style,” she replied…

> Update: 1:47pm: Fox staffers are amused that Cosby mentioned NBC’s abilities as a news organization. “What Fox people know and NBC will soon find out is that she’s dangerous — she would often watch the network news or the wires and then go to air and try to pass it off as her own ‘my sources are telling me’ exclusive,” a Fox staffer e-mailed. “The real journalists at 30 Rock are just going to looooooove Rita.”