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Mika Brzezinski

Mika Brzezinski
Mika Brzezinski smiling
Brzezinski in May 2011
Born Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski
(1967-05-02) May 2, 1967 (age 48)
New York, New York
Education Williams College, 1989
Occupation Television journalist
Notable credit(s) Morning Joe
Title Co-host
Political party
Spouse(s) James Patrick Hoffer (m. 1993)
Children Emilie Hoffer
Carlie Hoffer
Parent(s) Zbigniew Brzezinski
Emilie Benešová Brzezinski

Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski (/ˈmkə brəˈzɪnski/; born May 2, 1967)[1] is an American television host, author and journalist. Brzezinski co-hosts MSNBC's weekday morning broadcast Morning Joe with former Republican representative Joe Scarborough. Mika Brzezinski is the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski who was the National Security Director to President Jimmy Carter.

Early life

Brzezinski was born in New York City, the daughter of Polish-born foreign policy expert and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, from the Polish Brzeziński Szlachta, and Swiss-born sculptor Emilie Anna Benešová. Her mother, of Czech descent, is a grandniece of Czechoslovakia's former president Edvard Beneš. Her father was teaching at Columbia University when she was born, 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. Her brother, Mark Brzezinski, is an American diplomat and the United States Ambassador to Sweden since 2011.

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 was subsequently fired and 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, HomePage, with co-anchors Gina Gaston and Ashleigh Banfield.[2] Entertainment Weekly described the trio as "the Powerpuff Girls of journalism".[2]

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.

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 an occasional contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and "60 Minutes." She was subsequently fired by CBS.

Brzezinski returned to MSNBC on January 26, 2007, doing the evening "Up To The Minute" news updates. Then she worked primetime newsbreaks during the week, filling in on MSNBC Live limited to weekdays and on the weekends. She also filed occasional reports for NBC Nightly News and appeared as an occasional anchor on Weekend Today. Brzezinski resigned from both shows on the eve of a renewal option, said Brzezinski, when Scarborough selected her to co-host on "Morning Joe". Brzezinski said, "I struggled to keep up with the live interaction broadcasting format at 6-9 AM. I became more comfortable when I found myself having a primary function of reading the prompt for lead-ins and breaks. Mika, the ""hot anchor" was born. The producers slowly encouraged my participation in news reader segments that I was more at ease with Guest and Joe slowly found me a capable news reader and the expansion of my role was a process. I was not pleased with the reference to being the "hot anchor"" [3]

Since the program's inception, Brzezinski has appeared as co-host and news reader on MSNBC's morning program Morning Joe,[4] alongside Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist. Her father is a frequent guest. On Morning Joe, Brzezinski often points out that she is a Democrat and her co-host Joe Scarborough is a Republican.[5]

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 Indiana's Republican Senator Richard Lugar'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 set 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.[6] 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".[7][8] Similarly, on July 7, 2010, she spent significant airtime objecting to pressure to report on Lindsay Lohan and Levi Johnston, eventually Geist or Pat Buchanan report the stories with the caption, then popularized "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.[9]

Wage equality

On October 19, 2012, Brzezinski stated "We've been talking a lot this week about women and equal pay and all these issues". "I have to say, in all seriousness, I'm very lucky to be working with you [co-host Joe Scarborough] and for a company [MSNBC] who has actually dealt with this problem transparently", a reference to her satisfaction with her reported $2 million salary.[10]


Brzezinski authored the book, All Things at Once, 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]

In 2011, Brzezinski published the book Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth (Weinstein Books 2011). Told as her personal story, the book discussed women and financial negotiations. It included tips for negotiating salaries and compensation packages.[12]

Personal life

Since October 23, 1993, Brzezinski has been married to TV news reporter James Patrick Hoffer, now of WABC-TV.[13] They met when both worked at WTIC-TV. They have two daughters, Emilie Hoffer and Carlie Hoffer, and a pet dog rescued from Hurricane Katrina called Cajun.[14]

She is the cousin of author Matthew Brzezinski.

Her siblings include Ian Brzezinski and Mark Brzezinski.


  1. ^ "Brzezinski, Mika". Current Biography Yearbook 2010. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2010. pp. 84–88. ISBN 9780824211134. 
  2. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (February 16, 2001). "The Spin Room, Hardball". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ Allocca, Kevin. Mika Brzezinski: A Democrat,, May 27, 2010.
  6. ^ Video of the MSNBC incident (dubbed by MSNBC "the journalistic shot heard round the world")
  7. ^ "Paris Hilton script screwed up, burnt and shredded", The Telegraph
  8. ^ "Newscaster's on-air Paris protest", BBC News
  9. ^ "Joe Scarborough Show" (VIDEO). via Colbert Report. January 18, 2011. 
  10. ^ Halper, Daniel. "MSNBC Host 'Lucky' to Get Paid Half as Much as Her Male Co-Host". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved October 20, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Books". Weinstein Books. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Weinstein Books Press Release". 
  13. ^ "WEDDINGS; Mika Brzezinski and Jim Hoffer". The New York Times. October 24, 1993. 
  14. ^

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

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