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Morning Joe

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Morning Joe
GenreTalk show
Presented by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerAlex Korson[1]
ProducerMike Buczkiewicz (senior producer)[1]
Production locations
Running time240 minutes
Original release
ReleaseApril 9, 2007 (2007-04-09) –
Scarborough Country
Morning Joe First Look

Morning Joe is an American morning news talk show, which airs weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time on the cable news channel MSNBC. It features former US Representative (Independent) Joe Scarborough reporting and discussing the news of the day in a panel format with co-hosts Mika Brzezinski (whom Scarborough married in November 2018)[2] and Willie Geist, who regularly co-hosts from Tuesdays to Fridays, along with recurring and special guests.



Morning Joe began as a fill-in program after Don Imus' Imus in the Morning was canceled in April 2007. Former Florida Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, then host of the primetime MSNBC program Scarborough Country, suggested the idea of doing a morning show instead.[3] He put together what would become Morning Joe with Scarborough Country executive producer Chris Licht and screenwriter John Ridley. The pun in the show's title is echoed by a coffee ring in its logo.[4] On April 9, 2007, the show debuted as one of a series of rotating programs auditioning for Imus's former slot, with Scarborough joined by co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Ridley.[5][6] Scarborough had personally asked Brzezinski to co-host with him the night before the first audition, while she was a "cut-in" presenter during MSNBC's primetime schedule on a freelance basis.[6]

Ridley quickly dropped out as main co-host but continued as a regular guest, while Willie Geist was tapped as co-host. The program permanently took over the slot in July 2007, though the decision was not officially announced until October that year.[7]

During the first quarter of 2009, Morning Joe earned higher ratings in the age 25-54 demo category than CNN's competing program, American Morning. It still had fewer viewers overall.[8] Both programs finished behind Fox News's Fox & Friends during the same time period.

By March 2010, the show's ratings remained behind those of Fox & Friends, but surpassed its other cable competitors American Morning, Morning Express with Robin Meade, and Squawk Box.[9][10]

Morning Joe continues to regularly place second in total viewers and younger demographic to Fox & Friends, ahead of other cable news competitors including CNN's New Day.[11] However, Morning Joe, like MSNBC overall, ranked behind CNN's counterpart programming during short stints in 2013.[12]

Over the years, the program’s focus has shifted partly toward enterprise journalism: Scarborough and Brzezinski provide exclusives from the United States Congress, the US State Department, and the White House.[citation needed]

On May 4, 2017, an MSNBC spokesperson confirmed that Scarborough and Brzezinski were engaged to be married.[13] Their style in running the show was then parodied by Saturday Night Live with Kate McKinnon and Alex Moffat.[14][15]

In May 2017, for the first time in the program's history, Morning Joe attracted an average of over 1 million daily total viewers for the month.[16]

In February 2022, MSNBC announced that the show would be extended with a fourth, 9 a.m. hour beginning April 4. The extension of the show replaces MSNBC Reports with Stephanie Ruhle, after Ruhle moved to MSNBC's late-night program The 11th Hour.[17]

On March 10, 2022, MSNBC announced that it would offer on-demand episodes of the show, among others on Peacock.[18]

During coverage of the attempted assassination of former President Donald J. Trump, MSNBC announced on July 14, 2024, that the show would temporarily be replaced by a simulcast of NBC News NOW's morning show, Morning News NOW, with the latter and Way Too Early returning on July 16, 2024.[19]



WABC radio edition


A radio version debuted in December 2008, carried on WABC in New York City (which was also carrying Imus in the Morning at the time) and other Citadel Media owned and operated stations. Scarborough and Brzezinski host this version, which also replays highlights from the day's television show. For legal reasons, this version is called The Joe Scarborough Show.[20] Scarborough claims that, at least on WABC, the show beat the Glenn Beck Program in the New York City radio market's Arbitron ratings.[21][22] However, despite acceptable ratings, the radio version was put on hiatus in April 2010. Scarborough intends to bring back the show in a revised three-hour version at an undisclosed time in the future.[23]

Way Too Early


On July 27, 2009, Willie Geist began hosting a new 30-minute show, Way Too Early. It aired on MSNBC at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time as a lead-in to Morning Joe.[24] Geist left the program in October 2012 when he co-hosted the third hour of NBC's Today. He is currently a co-host of Morning Joe. The program was revived in September 2020 with Kasie Hunt who left a few months later for CNN. As of 2021, the program is hosted by Jonathan Lemire.

Morning Joe First Look


On August 8, 2016, the existing early morning program First Look airing at 5:00 a.m. was expanded into the former timeslot of Way Too Early and retitled Morning Joe First Look, retaining segments from the latter program and presumably to feature some continuity with Morning Joe itself.

Morning Joe broadcasts from 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Morning Joe: Weekend


Since February 11, 2023, MSNBC regularly airs Morning Joe: Weekend, a recap of the show’s most notable moments from the week’s broadcasts, every Saturday morning from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. ET. Since January 13, the show expanded to both Saturdays and Sundays.

Joe Scarborough Presents


On April 17, 2023, MSNBC announced that Joe Scarborough would host a primetime special titled Joe Scarborough Presents on April 24, 2023, temporarily taking over the 8 p.m. hour of All In with Chris Hayes, where Scarborough interviewed President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On May 8, 2023, Scabrough hosted another primetime special, where he interviewed U.S. Senator John Fetterman, Shonda Rhimes and Tyler Perry. On July 17, 2023, Scarborough hosted a third special, where he interviewed Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon and Robert Downey Jr..

The Weekend


On November 30, 2023, MSNBC announced a new weekend morning program hosted by Michael Steele, Symone Sanders-Townsend and Alicia Menendez titled The Weekend that premiered on January 13, 2024 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET., following Morning Joe: Weekend's broadcast.[25]

Regular guests and contributors

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Nicolle Wallace, Mike Barnicle, Mark Halperin, Richard Haass, and Katty Kay during an appearance on September 29, 2015.

Regular guests and contributors include:

Past contributors and segments


Chris Matthews "messed around" comments


On January 9, 2008, the morning after Hillary Clinton's surprise victory in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, Matthews appeared on the show and said of Clinton, "I'll be brutal, the reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That's how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn't win there on her merit."[31][32] The comments, widely reacted to as sexist and unfair, were criticized by such diverse media figures as Bill O'Reilly,[31] Joy Behar,[33] and Gloria Steinem.[34] They also led to protests outside NBC's Washington, D.C. studios, as well as a joint letter of complaint to NBC from the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, and the National Women's Political Caucus. Matthews apologized for the comments on the January 17, 2008, edition of his own MSNBC program, Hardball.[34]

Institution of a seven-second delay


On November 10, 2008, Scarborough read the word "fuck" on air while reading from a story about then-President-elect Obama's incoming Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. Once he realized his mistake, Scarborough repeatedly apologized for his slip of the tongue, and explained that he had meant to say "the F word" instead. The next day, MSNBC instituted a seven-second delay for Morning Joe.[35]

In another incident on June 29, 2011, then Time editor-at-large Mark Halperin commented that the president came off as "kind of a dick" during the previous day's press conference. The word aired uncensored, despite the seven-second delay, when a producer failed to press the button that would have "bleeped" it. Halperin issued an on-air apology immediately following a commercial break.[36] The White House subsequently complained to MSNBC about Halperin's remarks, and on June 30, 2011, Halperin was temporarily suspended from appearing on MSNBC for "slurring" the President. He returned as a guest a couple of weeks later.[37]

"Stunningly superficial"


On December 30, 2008, Brzezinski's father and former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski appeared as a guest to discuss the unfolding Israel–Palestine crisis. Scarborough stated that Yasser Arafat was offered everything he wanted at the 2000 Camp David Summit. This statement provoked Zbigniew to reply, "You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you."[38] Subsequently, the phrase "stunningly superficial" has become something of a running gag on the show.[39]



Beginning on June 1, 2009, Morning Joe was presented as "Brewed by Starbucks", with the sponsor's logo incorporated into the show's logo. Although the hosts previously consumed Starbucks coffee on air "for free", in the words of MSNBC president Phil Griffin, it was not paid placement at that time.[40] The Starbucks sponsorship of Morning Joe ended in 2013.

Feud with Jon Stewart


On June 3, 2009, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart mocked the Starbucks sponsorship of the program, showing several clips of the Morning Joe cast prominently displaying and complimenting Starbucks products as well as an interview with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.[41] Scarborough responded that his intent in discussing the sponsorship was sarcastic, and he suggested that Stewart and his "90 writers" did not understand the joke.[42] On June 8, Stewart feigned embarrassment over missing their alleged sarcasm, claiming, "At the time, I thought your jokey manner was just a way of sublimating your shame over the discomfort you feel deep in your soul after extinguishing the last smoldering embers of any of your program’s journalistic bona fides. But now, I realize that that wasn't the case!"[42] On June 9, Scarborough fired back, referring to Stewart as "a very, very angry guy with a Napoleonic complex".[43] The next day, Stewart and correspondent John Oliver again responded with a skit, involving Stewart impersonating Napoleon and Oliver impersonating an even shorter Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. After the routine, Stewart joked that he hoped that this would be the end of the feud, since continuing it was becoming expensive for the show.[44]

Clash with Rush Limbaugh


During the Obama administration, Joe Scarborough sought to distance himself from certain elements in the Republican Party. He criticized Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh who celebrated President Obama's failed bid to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago saying that "Republicans have gone off the deep end." On the October 8, 2009 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh fired back by saying that Scarborough was "doing his best impression of [...] a neutered chickified moderate". Scarborough responded the next day on Morning Joe, faulting Limbaugh for uncritical loyalty to George W. Bush during the president's tenure in office. Scarborough specifically said that Limbaugh had put his "testicles in a blind trust for George W. Bush for eight years".[45]

Russell Brand interview


The Morning Joe interview with actor and comedian Russell Brand, a segment in the episode that aired on June 17, 2013, went viral on the internet.[46] He was there to promote his forthcoming stand-up comedy tour "The Messiah Complex". After the three interviewers (host Mika Brzezinski and contributors Katty Kay and Brian Shactman) repeatedly intercut the interview with personal observations of their guest—bantering among themselves whether they were able to understand his accent, referring to him in the third person, and calling him "Willy"—Brand protested at being talked about "as if he wasn't present and [as if he was] an extraterrestrial" before taking the interview over with a scathing commentary on what he perceived as a lack of professionalism and manners demonstrated by the interviewers. He appeared to confuse them with his direct, plain-speaking rebuke. In a final apparent attempt to offer an olive branch of humor to Brzezinski, Brand quipped "this woman is a shaft grasper" after she appeared to nervously stroke her water bottle.[47]

Relationship with Donald Trump


Early in 2016, the show and its hosts were criticized for their support to then-candidate Donald Trump; Matt Taibbi described the hosts as "lapdogs" and their relationship as "brown-nosing". The criticism was further exacerbated by a hot mic recording published by Harry Shearer on his podcast, where Scarborough and Brzezinski discuss with Trump the positive coverage of him, and the possible questions the candidate could get in their upcoming interview.[48][49][50][51]

In late June 2017, a conflict erupted between the hosts of Morning Joe and President Trump. On the morning of June 29, the president posted a series of tweets mocking Scarborough and Brzezinski, with his comments about the latter widely condemned as misogynistic. The hosts responded with an op-ed in The Washington Post, in which they described White House officials warning them of a negative article that would be published in the National Enquirer if they refused to apologize for their coverage of Trump.[52] Although the initial tweets received negative responses from both Republican politicians and political commentators including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan,[53] Trump retaliated on July 1 with another tweet describing Scarborough as "crazy" and Brzezinski as "dumb as a rock".[54]


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Preceded by MSNBC Weekday Lineup
6:00AM – 10:00AM
Succeeded by