More Testosterone for NBC, Less for MSNBC?

I’m probably just still recovering from last week’s Nuts-Gate, but a pair of passages stood out to me from two separate pieces (both worth a read in their entireties) in the current issue of New York magazine.

The first is from Mark Binelli’s piece, “How Joe Scarborough Reinvented Himself As The Liberal’s Favorite Talk Show Host.” Unlike Scarborough’s previous MSNBC show, Scarborough Country:

On Morning Joe, shouting is discouraged, the teleprompter has been largely banished, and the overarching mood, despite an almost exclusive focus on the day’s political fisticuffs, is a chatty bonhomie. [Joe] Scarborough has turned out to be more Katie Couric than Sean Hannity.

And people prefer, more viewers watch, this de-outraged, be-Couric’d Scarborough. Scarborough, in fact, tells Binelli that this softer Scarborough is more him.

In the same issue, Kurt Anderson prescribes something altogether different for MSNBC’s Chuck Todd when suggesting that “the refreshingly empirical” Todd “could fit the bill” to replace Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press: “a few years’ seasoning (and maybe some testosterone injections).”

So, Scarborough’s recipe for success on MSNBC has been less (testosterone) is more; but more is more at NBC (or at least Todd will need more to fill Russert’s shoes there).

Success in TV news is all about proper testosterone calibration! (Is this different from “gravitas?”)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.