The “New Form” For MSNBC Mornings

By SteveK 

New York Magazine’s Mark Binelli takes a look at Morning Joe, which was born from the firing of Don Imus last year. Binelli talks with its right-of-center host Joe Scarborough, who used to work the nightshift on MSNBC hosting Scarborough Country (no passport required).

The former Republican congressman noted the change in tone from night to day: “Once we started Morning Joe, (NBC SVP) Phil Griffin said to me, ‘You can cut out this regular-Joe crap. Our audience is from Boston to Washington, D.C.'”

Chris Licht, Scarborough’s EP in the evening and now at Morning Joe, didn’t have high hopes at first. “I didn’t see it at all,” he said. “[Joe] was so enthusiastic, I thought, Okay, I’ll pretend to go along with him. But it was really just me hoping he’d change his mind in a couple of days.”

Scarborough and the team at Morning Joe are settling in. Good thing too, Scarborough signed a contract extension in January that keeps him at MSNBC through 2011.

Even Tim Russert, who was interviewed for the story two weeks before he died, was a fan. “Andrea Mitchell, myself, all of us in the Washington bureau — Morning Joe has become a staple for us,” he said.

(photo by Brian Finke for New York Magazine)