IT’S OFFICIAL: ‘Morning Joe’ EP Chris Licht Departing For Beleaguered CBS ‘Early Morning’

chris licht

Morning Joe executive producer Chris Licht is departing the show that he has helmed since it launched in 2007 and moving to CBS where he will be the vice president of programming at CBS News.

This is a bigger role than what was rumoured a few weeks back when word went around that CBS wanted to snag Licht to run their troubled morning show Early Morning. 

Licht will reportedly be overseeing that show as his Though the morning show will be his “first focus” and further told the NYT “I will be doing whatever I can to help.”

CBS has been undergoing a great shuffle since the network named Jeff Fager as president and brought in Bloomberg and Fox News alum David Rhodes to head the news division.

Early Morning has continually lagged far behind in the ratings and early this year Rhodes sent out a scathing email to staff that lambasted the show for failing to report any of the big stories the network’s news division had broken over the weekend.  Last week EP David Friedman resigned his spot.

Morning Joe, meanwhile, while not the ratings juggernaut that is Fox News’ Fox&Friends, is widely considered the choice of tastemakers and boasts a far newsier focus than most of the shows on morning TV.  One imagines it’s partly this sort of newsiness and relevance that CBS is hoping Licht will bring to the table.

As for those other rumours that Morning Joe team Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski might be following Licht, they seem to be just rumours…at least for the time being.  

David Rhodes tells the NYT: “Look, Joe and Mika are under contract at NBC. From what I understand, it’s a contract that has a while left to run. Joe and Mika are great talent, and if they were available, we would obviously be interested in talking to them. And that goes for a number of people. But from what I understand right now they remain under contract.”  Also?  “We hired Chris for Chris.”