Steve Kornacki has been named National Political Correspondent for NBC News and MSNBC and will see increased visibility across both networks, MSNBC President Phil Griffin announced on Monday.
“Steve was one of our breakout stars of the 2016 election and is an exceptional talent,” Griffin said. “His intelligence and unique perspective enables our political coverage to operate on a higher level, one that clearly sets us apart from the competition.”
Kornacki will contribute to the flagship “Today” show and become the primary fill-in host for “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” He will also have a prominent role across both networks for all major political programming, such as debates and election nights.
Kornacki will also appear daily on MSNBC’s new 4 p.m. ET show hosted by Nicolle Wallace, which is scheduled to debut in late May.
“It’s been a fun year,” Kornacki told TheWrap in 2016 during the height of the presidential primary season. “I have a specialization in a very particular area: the presidential primary process. So, it’s sort of my season.”
Griffin told TheWrap that Kornacki “emerged as Rookie of the Year” during the election season.
Kornacki grew up in Groton, Massachusetts, a small town about 30 miles northwest of Boston. After graduating from Boston University, he got a job as a reporter for a New Jersey website covering state politics. He went on to co-host a local political show on News 12 New Jersey. A succession of high-profile reporting gigs soon followed. Kornacki quickly made his way up the political reporting ladder in publications such as D.C.’s Roll Call, The New York Observer and Salon.
The 2016 election cycle, with its head-scratching delegate math, made him a star among political junkies. He also has a following in the gay community. Back in 2011, while working for Salon, Kornacki wrote an essay titled, “The coming out story I never thought I’d write.”
It was his guest appearances on cable news shows that caught the eye of MSNBC executives, who made Kornacki a prime-time regular and eventually resulted in his new, expanded role that will put him front and center for all political coverage.