Mika Brzezinski says she almost quit MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when she learned Joe Scarborough, her co-host on the show, was earning far more than she was.
She told the story on the “Today” show on NBC Thursday in an interview with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. The subject of salary disparities, and how they affect women in the workplace, inspired Brzezinski to write a book titled “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth,” which she came on the show to promote.
The story of her salary woes at “Morning Joe” is in the book. “The reason I wrote this book is because when our show officially started, Joe was making 14 times more than me,” she said on “Today.”
She admitted that she didn’t expect to get paid the same as Scarborough – just not that much less. After all, the show was named for him, and he had come from prime-time TV on MSNBC and she had no job at the time. “We came from very different [places] . . . but it was how wide the disparity was that bothered me. And it was me that put myself in that situation! I signed a contract that wasn’t what I was worth!” she said.
She said it didn’t feel right and, “at one point, I was going to leave.” However, MSNBC management heard her pleas and gave her a raise, she said. “We worked it out,” she said, indicating she is apparently satisfied with what she’s now making on the show.