MSNBC Hands ‘Way Too Early’ to Jonathan Lemire

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Jonathan Lemire, a veteran Washington reporter whose on-air profile grew during coverage of the Trump administration, will take the anchor reins at MSNBC’s “Way Too Early,” the network announced Monday.

The move has been long expected. Lemire has been helming the early-morning hour for weeks, filling in after the departure of its previous anchor, Kasie Hunt. Lemire, who had been working at the Associated Press, will join Politico as its White House bureau chief as part of the move.

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Speaking on MSNBC Monday morning, Lemire said the program would take on “a real reporter’s sensibility,” and “have some fun with the news” while examining it with “lawmakers and important officials throughout Washington.”

Before joining the AP in 2013, Lemire spent more than a decade at the New York Daily News. He grew up in Massachusetts. He is also at work on a book, “The Big Lie: Election Chaos, Political Opportunism, and the State of American Politics after 2020,” due out in fall 2022.

“Way Too Early,” originally conceived as a vehicle for Willie Geist, is considered part of the NBCUniversal cable-news outlet’s politics-focused morning programming, and has increasingly been viewed as part of a block with “Morning Joe,” anchored by Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Geist. “Way Too Early” debuted in 2009. Thomas Roberts succeeded Geist in the role. MSNBC changed the name of the hour to “First Look” in 2016 before restoring it in 2020 when Hunt took over the hour.

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