Mika Brzezinski Got a Raise by Speaking in a Low Voice (Not Shrill!)

In her monthly column in Cosmopolitan, Mika Brzezinski talks about how she convinced MSNBC to rectify the pay disparity between her and Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough.

“The show I’m on was clearly a hit from the start.  And a year and a half in , my colleague Joe Scarborough was making four times what I was,” she wrote. “Why? I was too afraid my bosses would think I was being difficult if I asked for a raise.”

Sound familiar? It’s something of a pet topic. She and Mr. Scarborough have spoken about it publicly and at length, and the episode motivated her to write Knowing Your Value,  a career self-help book for women.

Except in past versions, Mr. Scarborough did not make four times as much as Ms. Brzezinski, but rather fourteen times. (A possible reason is that this story did not factor in ratings bonuses, which were going to Mr. Scarborough, until he had them re-routed to her bank account, an act which both “sickened” her or empowered her to ask for a raise. This time, it’s left out altogether.)

“Eventually I finally got real and explained that I was worth more money,” she continued. “I wasn’t a bitch, that’s when you’re aggressive and confrontational. I spoke in a low, not shrill, calm voice and laid out my case. It worked.”

According to earlier reports, it took four tries before she got the voice down.

“I’m fairly certain there are some bosses at NBC where I work who don’t like me at all, and they probably are the very same people who have given me the best raises of my life,” she added.

Perhaps they’re the same people who wouldn’t let CBS poach her and Mr. Scarborough for its Early Show revamp.

  Mika Brzezinski Got a Raise by Speaking in a Low Voice (Not Shrill!)