UPDATED – Wichita State University is going to share the spotlight with the city when MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski broadcast their show from here next month.
The Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce already announced that the two will interview Charles Koch when he’s featured as its annual meeting speaker on Nov. 2 and that they’ll broadcast from somewhere in Wichita the next morning.
That somewhere is going to be the dining room of WSU’s Shocker Hall, which opened last year.
“There’s no question that when there’s a lot of students, the Shocker Hall dining (room) is an incredibly vibrant spot,” says Lou Heldman, vice president for strategic communications.
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“And we thought the chances of getting a good crowd there at 4:30 in the morning were the very best for people who didn’t need to do much more than roll out of bed to get there.”
Community partners for the event are WSU, the Greater Wichita Partnership and Visit Wichita.
MSNBC producers toured the WSU campus last week and considered three potential broadcasting sites: the dining hall, the Rhatigan Student Center and Koch Arena.
Heldman says the hall will easily hold several hundred people, and if 150 people are there “it will look pretty crowded.”
He says the attention for the school is “a great thing.”
The broadcast is from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and is open to the public as well as students. Breakfast will be available.
The entrance will be on the north side of the hall. More details will be released this week.
Heldman says he doubts there’s a danger of anyone being turned away or that there won’t be enough parking.
“There isn’t a lot of competition for parking at 4:30 in the morning.”
Angie Elliott, the Chamber’s director of business services, says now is a fantastic time to highlight WSU.
“We thought there’s a lot of great stories going on at Wichita State to tell,” she says.
“We know that there’s interest in hearing more about the Innovation Campus.”
In particular, she says the show may be a chance to share President John Bardo’s vision for the school’s role in economic development.
Elliott says the Shockers will be a topic of conversation as well and that men’s basketball Coach Gregg Marshall likely will be a guest on the show.
She says each community partner for the broadcast is offering possible story lines.
The Chamber’s dinner the previous night is sold out, as are the loge seats for Koch’s talk, though Elliott says there are still balcony seats available.