Kasie Hunt at MSNBC
Source: Getty

Why Did Kasie Hunt, Host of 'Way Too Early,' Leave MSNBC This Summer?

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Sep. 17 2021, Published 1:29 p.m. ET

Kasie Hunt, who anchored an early-morning program on MSNBC for years, surprised viewers in July with the announcement of her departure from the show. She didn't disclose her forthcoming plans during that final broadcast, but sources quickly claimed that she would be moving on to a similar program at CNN.

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On Hunt’s show “Way Too Early,” she covered news stories, particularly of a political nature, from September 2020 until July 2021. She had worked for the NBC network in various capacities since 2013.

“Way Too Early” preceded the “Morning Joe” time segment and was previously hosted by Willie Geist and Chief White House correspondent Chris Jansing.

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Kasie Hunt's CNN+ program

In August, several weeks after Hunt’s announcement and final program of her morning show at MSNBC, CNN confirmed rumors that it hired the correspondent. Hunt will be an anchor and chief national affairs analyst for the network. Her work at CNN will be based in Washington.

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Part of Hunt’s duties will include hosting a show on CNN+, the platform’s streaming service slated to launch during the first quarter of 2022. According to Deadline, her new CNN+ show will showcase her experience in coverage of presidential campaigns and other issues impacting Washington and Congress.

Sources told Variety that NBC wasn't able to match the offer from CNN, which was reportedly between $1 million and $1.5 million in annual compensation.

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When Hunt made her final broadcast, she said that it was “bittersweet” to leave. She also mentioned colleague Mika Brzezinski, “for always insisting that you should know your value,” which Adweek noted might signal that money could be a large factor in her decision to leave the network.

Hunt’s CNN+ show is planned as a daily program centered around politics. It will make her the first official anchor for the new streaming platform. Hunt also will cover national and breaking news stories at CNN U.S. Hunt tweeted on Aug. 10 about joining CNN.

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CNN isn't the only major network pursuing streaming video options to attract more viewers. As Variety reported, CBS News has collaborated with local news networks to produce special reports on breaking news. ABC News, Fox News, and ESPN are among those companies expanding their subscription streaming services.

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Kasie Hunt’s career path

Hunt worked in a variety of journalistic roles during her eight-year run at NBC. She hosted a Sunday evening program, “KasieDC,” and has spent time on programs like “NBC Nightly News” and “Meet the Press.”

Hunt was the NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent and played a pivotal role in reporting on the 2020 presidential election during its election night coverage. She co-anchored NBC News coverage with anchor Chuck Todd during major political moments.

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Hunt's other past roles include serving as lead Associated Press reporter on Mitt Romney’s campaign plane in 2012 and a period of reporting on health policy for National Journal’s CongressDaily.

Hunt recently drew fire from Democrats for her criticism of California Governor Gavin Newsom in a Twitter thread. For example, former MSNBC star Keith Olbermann said it's “genuinely hard to believe you have spent any days prior to this one covering politics.”

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