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Brokaw: ‘Where it got sticky is when our commentators were anchoring political coverage’

NBC's Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, and Russert's white board, on election night 2000.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rosenthal talks with NBC Newman Tom Brokaw ahead of Brokaw’s visit to Illinois next week. Brokaw talked about the Comcast deal, the “incompatible roles” of MSNBC hosts and the state of media today. As for MSNBC, the news division’s senior statesman says:

“Listen, we’re better off than (ABC and CBS) because we do have cable. Where it got sticky is when our commentators were anchoring political coverage. Those are, in some ways, incompatible roles. We worked our way through that.”

That was the case on election night 2010. With Keith Olbermann‘s departure, it is yet to be seen how MSNBC execs will incorporate the other opinion hosts — Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell — into 2012 primary and general election night coverage.

On the topic of Olbermann, Brokaw told Rosenthal: “You’re not going to get me to go there,”

“All of our component parts — NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC –are much bigger than one player, and I include myself in that,” Brokaw said.

Brokaw will be in Chicago next Thursday to honor the late Tim Russert at a benefit for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

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