MSNBC has ordered a second helping of Morning Joe.
The New York Times reports this morning that Joe Scarborough has extended his contract with MSNBC until March 2011. Last summer, after a successful tryout, Mr. Scarborough took over Don Imus’ old morning slot on MSNBC, beating out the likes of David Gregory along the way.
From the Times story:
While it would be premature to declare Mr. Scarborough’s show, “Morning Joe,” an unqualified success—it still lags its competition on Fox News Channel and CNN—the show drew an estimated 360,000 viewers each morning during the recently concluded May sweeps rating period, which is about what “Imus in the Morning” was attracting in the weeks before its host’s firing.
More important, perhaps, the three hours of hard-core political chat (often laced with humor) that Mr. Scarborough and his co-hosts, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist, put on each day is unlike anything else on morning television. Little wonder that every major presidential candidate has made at least one stop at Mr. Scarborough’s desk since fall – including Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose husband Mr. Scarborough voted to impeach – and that throughout the broadcast Mr. Scarborough’s Blackberry continuously vibrates with e-mail messages from the candidates’ surrogates. Many of the messages are seeking corrections, or rebuttals, and most are immediately read aloud on the air.
Back in April, Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice took a long look back at Mr. Scarborough’s political career: “In 2004, MSNBC allowed him to appear—in the middle of a presidential campaign he was covering—at the side of George W. Bush and John McCain at a rally in Pensacola, where the president singled out Scarborough, his wife, and his daughter to cheers,” added Mr. Barrett. “‘I appreciate Joe Scarborough,’ Bush declared. ‘I’m glad to know he’s still standing and making a living.'”