MSNBC was watching its ratings plummet in 2021 and 2022. Then the network struck gold by airing the congressional hearings on the Capitol riot.
MSNBC has recovered some of its audience since then, and now some of the network’s biggest personalities are throwing a lifeline to another struggling network.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are currently co-hosting Morning Joe on MSNBC… but they’ve each entered “secret talks” to join CNN, according to a bombshell report by Radar Online.
CNN’s new executive, Chris Licht, is apparently trying to poach Scarborough and Brzezinski, an unnamed source told Radar Online.
Licht once worked for MSNBC, and he helped Scarborough to launch Morning Joe in 2007, with Brzezinski joining the panel immediately.
Licht is very familiar with the MSNBC couple… and he apparently wants to work with them again.
Licht worked for CBS from 2011 until June of this year. He allegedly tried to hire Scarborough and Brzezinski for his reboot of CBS This Morning, but he eventually settled on CBS stalwart Gayle King, perhaps due to MSNBC’s contracts with the Morning Joe hosts.
“When CBS hired Chris, he wanted to hire Joe and Mika to head up his morning show instead of Gayle King,” the source told Radar Online. “Joe and Mika were into it, but they couldn’t get out of their deal with NBC. Now Chris is pulling the same trick again as he starts his new job at CNN hoping this time, he will be able to pull it off.”
However, the source also expressed skepticism about the couple’s prospects of joining CNN.
“It is unlikely MSNBC will let them out of their contract,” he or she told Radar Online. “But Chris is a patient man.”
Radar Online based the report on a single, unnamed source. The New York Post investigated this report but was unable to verify it. Meanwhile, both CNN and MSNBC have remained silent on this rumor.
Still, it remains plausible that CNN’s new executive would want to build a team by bringing old co-workers back together.
Licht became president of CNN last month, and he inherited a network plagued by scandal.
Former president Jeff Zucker had just resigned after failing to report an affair with one of his subordinates. Before that, former CNN newscaster Chris Cuomo had purported to interview his own brother: former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a New York Democrat plagued by transparency scandals and allegations of sexual misconduct. CNN’s Cuomo was eventually fired after giving P.R. advice to his brother during the early days of the scandal.
Meanwhile, one of Cuomo’s producers was indicted in federal court for unlawful sex with a minor.
Given CNN’s public image problems, Licht started overhauling the network. Last month, he released a memo announcing new guidelines for when to use the “BREAKING NEWS” banner. Plus, Axios reported that Licht intends to pivot to straight news, away from liberal opinion journalism.
Licht said in a memo, “We will reimagine our morning show leveraging our correspondents and unmatched resources in the U.S. and around the world to provide news that viewers need to know as they start their day.
Radar Online reported that Licht is now prioritizing a revamp of the morning show.
“Chris’ first priority will be fixing CNN’s morning and primetime programming,” he or she told the website. “That is where the big advertiser money is. Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, and the morning hosts should be concerned.”
The Horn editorial team