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Cable News Staple Was Close to Shifting to CBS AP

A program that is a staple of cable news almost moved to CBS News, reports David Bauder in the Associated Press. The show is "Morning Joe," the talk show on MSNBC that features Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. The program almost made the shift two years ago, the piece reports.

Executives at NBC News had said they would allow everyone out of their contracts to move to mornings on CBS, the story reports.

Both hosts were interested in reaching a larger audience at CBS, the story notes. Scarborough recalls former "Today" show executive producer Jim Bell coming to the phone and asking, "How's the guy on the least-watched and most talked-about morning show?," according to the story.

Bauder writes, "Then Steve Burke, chief executive officer of NBCUniversal, called Scarborough upstairs, wondering why he was being asked to approve giving away a show he and his friends watched every day. He urged them to stay, that things will work out, and it would be the best decision they'd ever made."

"He was right," Scarborough said. "Because we get to do everything we want here."