9 questions with Producer Marianne Schaberg

Updated
9 questions with Producer Marianne Schaberg
9 questions with Producer Marianne Schaberg
Photo by Drew Katchen

You were named New York’s funniest reporter in 2009. Does your sense of humor help you at Morning Joe? 
Definitely. Joe, Mika and Willie have a great sense of humor and there are a lot of places in the show were humor is used. But, I wouldn’t want to go head to head with Willie Geist though, that man has a sharp wit.

Do you still do stand up?
I do. It’s a little hard when working the overnight shift. But sleep deprivation just makes me funnier, right? 

What’s your average day like? 
Segment producers at Morning Joe have three different shifts - daytime, evening and overnights. I tend to work the daytime shift so my day starts at about 830am. The overnight staff has a post-mortem meeting after the show wraps at 9am. After that I’m off and running on segments for the next day’s show. I focus on working on guests who are authors or celebrity because their segments can be finished the day before and aren’t dependent on news that may change overnight - like say a segment with a member of congress. I’ll collect any video or pictures that we want to use for their segment and write up what we call a “one sheet” for the segment. A one sheet has all the info on who the guest is, what they might be promoting, suggested questions, research, sound bites and any statistics for the segment. It’s a lot of fun and every day brings something new from a book on what Cleopatra was like to Robert Redford to a segment on Libya.

What’s your favorite lunch spot in 30 Rock? 
I’m actually a big fan of the commissary at 30 Rock. Yes, we have our own cafeteria; it’s really good and not at all like high school.

What was your strangest/most exciting celebrity sighting in the building?
It’s always fun to run into a member of the cast of SNL.

You used to work with Donny Deutsch. What was that like?
Indeed, I worked on Donny’s CNBC show for 4 years. It was a lot of fun. We did some amazing shows - like a tour of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic in San Francisco and a Town Hall show with Donald Trump at Trump Tower. Lots of fond memories.

 

Who’s your all-time favorite guest on the show?
That’s an easy one - OPRAH! The research consisted of watching 3 episodes of her Behind the Scenes of Season 25 show … I love my job. 

What’s your reality TV show?
It’s nearly impossible to choose. Right now I can’t stop watching Celebrity Apprentice. I’m looking forward to the ultimate showdown: NeNe Leakes Vs. Star Jones, Esquire.

Morning Joe seems rather unscripted. As a segment producer, how do you tie it all together? 
The nature of Morning Joe is largely unscripted. Joe, Mika and Willie have their own opinions and places they want to go with guests who comes on. Our job is to provide them with the freshest sound bites, quotes and statistics that will make their conversation more compelling. We make sure all of those “elements” as we call them are ready and that Joe, Mika and Willie know what we have so they have a full arsenal of information to move the conversation forward.  We do give them suggested questions but largely they are off the cuff with guests.

9 questions with Producer Marianne Schaberg

Updated