Mika Brzezinski

Mika Brzezinski
Mika Brzezinski
Born Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski
May 2, 1967 (1967-05-02) (age 44)
New York, New York
Education Williams College, 1989
Occupation Television journalist
Title Co-host: Morning Joe
Spouse(s) James Patrick Hoffer (October 23, 1993)
Children 2 Children
Notable relatives Zbigniew Brzezinski (Father)
Emilie Benešová Brzezinski (Mother)
Ethnicity Polish and Czech
Notable credit(s) Morning Joe

Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski (play /ˈmkə brəˈʒɪnski/; born May 2, 1967) is an American television news journalist at MSNBC. Brzezinski is co-host of MSNBC's weekday morning program Morning Joe, where she provides regular commentary and reads the news headlines for the program. Brzezinski was previously a CBS News anchor and correspondent.

On December 8, 2008, Brzezinski and Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough began hosting a two-hour late-morning radio show on WABC (770 AM) in New York City.[1][2][3] As of April 26, 2010, the radio show was replaced by Mark Simone.[4]


Early life

Brzezinski was born in New York City, the daughter of foreign policy expert and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and sculptor Emilie Anna Benešová, a grandniece of Czechoslovakia's former president Edvard Beneš. Her father was then teaching at Columbia University, but the family moved to McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., in late 1976, when Zbigniew was named National Security Advisor by newly-elected President Jimmy Carter.

Brzezinski attended The Madeira School during her high-school years. She graduated in 1989 from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where she majored in English, after transferring from Georgetown University as a junior.


Brzezinski began her journalism career as an assistant at ABC's World News This Morning in 1990. A year later, she moved to Tribune-owned Fox affiliate WTIC-TV/WTIC-DT in Hartford, Connecticut. There, she progressed from assignment and features editor to general assignments reporter. In 1992, she joined CBS affiliate WFSB-TV/WFSB-DT in Hartford and quickly progressed through the ranks to become its weekday morning anchor in 1995. In 1997, she left that role to join the CBS network news, where she served as a correspondent and as anchor for the overnight Up to the Minute news program.

In 2000, Brzezinski began a short hiatus from CBS, during which she worked for rival MSNBC on the weekday afternoon show, Home Page, with co-anchors Gina Gaston and Ashleigh Banfield. She returned to CBS as a correspondent in September 2001, a move which thrust her into the limelight as a principal "Ground Zero" reporter for the September 11, 2001 attacks. Brzezinski was broadcasting live from the scene when the South Tower collapsed. (Coincidentally, her former MSNBC co-anchor, Ashleigh Banfield, was reporting from Ground Zero for MSNBC.)

In her last position at CBS, Brzezinski served as a CBS News correspondent, substitute anchor, and segment anchor for breaking news segments and routine updates. During this period she became a frequent contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and "60 Minutes."

Brzezinski returned to MSNBC on January 26, 2007, doing the evening "Up To The Minute" news updates. Since then she has anchored primetime newsbreaks during the week, filling in on MSNBC Live weekdays and on the weekends. She also filed reports for NBC Nightly News and appeared as a news anchor on Weekend Today.

Since the programs inception, Brzezinski has appeared as co-host and news reader on MSNBC's morning program, Morning Joe,[5] alongside Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist. Her father is a frequent guest. On Morning Joe, Brzezinski pointed out that she is a Democrat and her co-host, Joe Scarborough is a Republican.[6]

Protesting trivial journalism

On June 26, 2007, near the beginning of Morning Joe, Brzezinski refused to read a report about Paris Hilton's release from jail. One hour later during another news break segment, her producer Andy Jones again pushed the story as the lead, ranking it over Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana's break with President Bush on the Iraq war, which Brzezinski considered more important. After several sarcastic remarks from host Joe Scarborough, she attempted to light the story's script on fire on the air, but was physically prevented from doing so by co-host Willie Geist. She then tore up the script, and one hour later, got up and ran another copy of the script through a paper shredder retrieved from Dan Abrams's office.[7] The incident was quickly popularized on the Internet, and in the days that followed, Brzezinski received large quantities of fan mail supporting her on-air protest as a commentary on the tension between 'hard news' and 'entertainment news'.[8][9] Similarly, on July 7, 2010, she spent significant airtime objecting to pressure to report on Lindsay Lohan and Levi Johnston, eventually having Geist or Pat Buchanan report the stories with the caption "News You Can't Use".

In January 2011, she spent time on-air mentioning that it was not newsworthy to report on Sarah Palin's reaction to President Obama's speech about the Tucson shooting.[10]

All Things at Once

Brzezinski authored a book, All Things at Once, which was published by Weinstein Books in January 2010. The publisher describes it as "a candid and inspiring motivational book that will help women of all ages confront the unique professional and personal challenges they face in the key moments of their lives."[11]

Personal life

Since 1993, Brzezinski has been married to TV news reporter James Hoffer, now of WABC-TV.[12] They have two daughters.


  1. ^ "Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski Begin Radio Show Monday". TV Newser. December 5, 2008. http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/msnbc/joe_scarborough_mika_brzezinski_begin_radio_show_monday_102556.asp. 
  2. ^ Stelter, Brian (December 5, 2008). "TV Decoder: 'Morning Joe' Hosts Add Radio to Routine". The New York Times. http://tvdecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/morning-joe-hosts-add-radio-to-routine/?scp=3&sq=mika%20brzezinski&st=cse. 
  3. ^ "Tom Brokaw is Joe & Mika's First Radio Guest". TV Newser. December 8, 2008. http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/msnbc/tom_brokaw_is_joe_mikas_first_radio_guest_102691.asp. 
  4. ^ "TV Decoder: Scarborough and Brzezinski to Revamp, Expand Their Radio Show". The New York Times. April 26, 2010. http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/scarborough-and-brzezinski-to-revamp-expand-their-radio-show/. 
  5. ^ http://nachofoto.com/gallery/Mika_brzezinski_hot_news_anchor-1
  6. ^ Allocca, Kevin. Mika Brzezinski: A Democrat, MediaBistro.com, May 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Video of the MSNBC incident (dubbed by MSNBC "the journalistic shot heard round the world")
  8. ^ "Paris Hilton script screwed up, burnt and shredded", The Telegraph
  9. ^ "Newscaster's on-air Paris protest", BBC News
  10. ^ "Joe Scarborough Show" (video). via Colbert Report. January 18, 2011. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/371413/january-18-2011/mika-brzezinski-experiences-palin-fatigue. 
  11. ^ http://www.weinsteinbooks.com/catalog/search/mika%20brzezinski
  12. ^ "WEDDINGS; Mika Brzezinski and Jim Hoffer". The New York Times. October 24, 1993. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE4D61F30F937A15753C1A965958260. 

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Nanette Hansen
Anchor of Up to the Minute
Succeeded by
Melissa McDermott
New title Co-host of Morning Joe
Served alongside: John Ridley, Willie Geist, Joe Scarborough

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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