Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are happy where they are. Despite reports over the summer that the duo were being courted by CBS and other network outlets, the “Morning Joe” hosts insist they’re not leaving.
During a panel for the MSNBC morning show at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena on Saturday, Scarborough confirmed that he and Brzezinski did engage in talks with a handful of networks.
“We obviously are in a small community, the media community, and we’re friends with people at CBS, ABC, NBC and the cable networks,” Scarborough said. “So we had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people,” including CBS, where, Scarborough proclaimed, “Mika has a lot of friends.”
But no network could offer the two a setup as sweet as the one they have at MSNBC. “We just knew from the beginning, we had a great home at MSNBC that [MSNBC President] Phil [Griffin] had set up for us.”
The key to that realization, though, came from a conversation with Dr. Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski – Mika’s father and a regular contributor on the show. “I remember we asked him, ‘You know, we’re hearing from all these different networks. They want us to go work for them and want us to do a show over there.’ And he said, ‘Well, if you go over there, can you interview me for 15 minutes?’ I said, ‘No, probably not.’ He said, ‘Well, then stay where you are.'”
Scarborough noted that both the relaxed format of “Joe,” and the way he, Brzezinski, and co-host Willie Geist “talk about ideas” is a model that cannot be replicated on another network.
Added Brzenski, “It gets feisty at times just like it does in your family, but you know there’s a genuine affection, a feeling of family that comes first with the show that people feel they’re a part of… And it has really, really worked for us.”