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Exclusive: MSNBC to name Thomas Roberts host of ‘Way Too Early’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

MSNBC has decided to replace the anchor of “Way Too Early” with the openly-gay Thomas Roberts because the left-leaning channel wants the show to be seen as more “diverse,” a source inside the cable network tells The Daily Caller.

The source said the move to replace current host Brian Shactman with Roberts will be announced soon.

“Way Too Early” airs every weekday morning before Morning Joe, the MSNBC daily talk show hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Roberts — an NBC News correspondent who hosts a daytime show on MSNBC — has become known recently for his pro-gay activism and openness about his own same-sex marriage on television. Before Christmas, he was critical of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for comments the reality TV star made about gays.

Shactman, a former CNBC reporter, has anchored “Way Too Early” since May. He took over the show after original host Willie Geist left to become a co-anchor of the “Today Show” on NBC.

The decision to name Roberts host is less about Shactman and more about “diversity reasons,” the source said.

Over the last few years, MSNBC has increasingly adopted an openly-liberal viewpoint, even giving itself the progressive-sounding slogan, “Lean Forward.”

An MSNBC spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment on Thursday.

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