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Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:37 PM

MSNBC President Phil Griffin on Whom He'd Poach From Fox News and Why Obama Avoids the Network (Q&A) [View all]

This is a long article so I'm posting the most interesting IMO. Phil unplugged if you will....LOL



THR: Do you want more Republicans to come on MSNBC?

Griffin: Yes. Look, we like all ideas. I do think this channel is about depth. I love it when Rachel gets a big interview and it's smart, thoughtful and always polite. Morning Joe obviously gets a wide variety of guests. But people have to be prepared to go on our shows. Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you have to be prepared. But everyone is welcome.

THR: You tend to develop talent on the air instead of hiring them from another network or local news. How do you know when a contributor is ready to become a host?

Griffin: I've seen how we did it before. We put on a lot of people who had never been on MSNBC before. There is nothing worse than that debut, and you wonder if that person is going to succeed with your audience. I saw that when I was a worker bee here. We don't do that now, and I'm never going do that again. It's too painful; you will have an ulcer. When Rachel began her show in 2009, I already knew our audience loved her. When we put Lawrence O'Donnell on, he'd filled in at 8 p.m. for basically half a year the previous year. I knew he was going to be successful; it was just a matter to what degree. Ed Schultz had been successful at 6 p.m. before we moved him to [primetime]. Chris Hayes had filled in. Melissa Harris-Perry had filled in. There were no ulcers during that period. We don't do that now, and I'm never going do that again. CNN did that with Eliot Spitzer. It's too painful; you will have an ulcer.

STORY: Viewers Scatter, MSNBC Rises and Combined Audience Grows During DNC

THR: There are people, including some at your own company, who have asserted that cable news is responsible for debasing the political dialogue in this country.

Griffin: Yeah, my little hairs go up when people criticize cable news with a broad brush. That criticism comes from people who don't actually watch us. They dismiss us when in fact we are doing real, thoughtful, informative segments, whether it's having a war correspondent talk for an hour about what's going on in Afghanistan, or the voter ID issue, which we've done across the board at MSNBC. Chris Hayes did two hours on Foxconn [the Chinese iPhone factory where harsh working conditions have led to riots]. It was said you can't do really thoughtful, smart pieces and get an audience and make it popular. I think we've done that.

THR: Have you watched Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom?

Griffin: I will watch it, and I'm sure I'll love it because everybody says I'd love it. But I want to watch Breaking Bad, and I don't have time to. But with Newsroom, it's like this is what we do and I'll be judgmental, and I don't want to be that jerk who says, "Oh, it sucks."

THR: Is there an on-air personality on another network that you would like to have?

Griffin: Yes. I don't know if I should say this. [Fox News anchor] Shep Smith. I just like his way. I like everything about him.

THR: Former CNN president Jon Klein occasionally used to have lunch with Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. Have you ever had a meal with Roger?

Griffin: No. I would love to.

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Reply MSNBC President Phil Griffin on Whom He'd Poach From Fox News and Why Obama Avoids the Network (Q&A) [View all]
monmouth Oct 2012 OP
fleur-de-lisa Oct 2012 #1
montanacowboy Oct 2012 #3
monmouth Oct 2012 #8
Tarheel_Dem Oct 2012 #2
julian09 Oct 2012 #6
Tarheel_Dem Oct 2012 #10
TDale313 Oct 2012 #4
montanacowboy Oct 2012 #5
TDale313 Oct 2012 #7
Erose999 Oct 2012 #11
Indpndnt Oct 2012 #9