Award-Winning Journalist Ashleigh Banfield to Join Nexstar Media Group’s Cable Network, WGN America
Will Host “Banfield,” Hour-Long News/Talk Show, Weeknights at 10 p.m. ET Beginning March 1
CHICAGO, IL and IRVING, TX (January 5, 2021) – WGN America, Nexstar Media Group, Inc.’s wholly-owned cable network currently reaching 75 million U.S. television households, today announced that award-winning veteran journalist Ashleigh Banfield will join the network as host of “Banfield.” The new hour-long news and talk show will air weeknights at 10 p.m. ET beginning March 1, and will feature Banfield interviewing newsmakers, politicians, and celebrities, as well as in-depth coverage the day’s top news stories.
WGN America also will be expanding its programming lineup in the coming weeks with additional news, talk and current events shows that complement NewsNation, the country’s only live nightly prime-time national newscast. Later this month, WGN America will expand its national footprint by approximately 8.5 million television households, following the completion of recent distribution agreements with streaming, cable and satellite providers.
“As WGN America expands its programming and distribution in 2021, Ashleigh’s national appeal, network experience, and unbiased approach to reporting news will help us reach new viewers seeking balance in news reporting and talk programming that offers several points of view,” said Sean Compton, President, Networks, Nexstar Media Group. “Ashleigh is one of the most acclaimed, award-winning anchors in television news, reporting from across the country and around the globe, with a reputation for fairness and integrity. We are excited to add ‘Banfield’ to our growing lineup of news programming on WGN America.”
Immediately prior to joining WGN America, Banfield, an Emmy, Telly, Iris, Gracie and National Headliner Award winner, served as a legal analyst and host for Court TV, as well as a regular contributor to Investigation Discovery’s ID Murder Mystery series.
“What a thrill it is to be part of a team driving straight down the center lane,” said Banfield. “We’ve reached a time where Americans are hungry for facts without bias, news without spin, and guests from all perspectives. I can’t wait to go head-to-head with America’s top newsmakers and celebrities in a talk format that I’ve longed for since Larry King! It’s time to put in-depth interviews back on the cable news landscape.”
During her 30-year career, Banfield has served as host of the A+E prime-time series, Live Rescue; host of Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield on HLN; anchored Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield on CNN; and co-anchored the CNN morning news show, Early Start. She has also served as a correspondent for ABC News, reporting for Good Morning America, 20/20, ABC World News Tonight, and Nightline. Prior to ABC, Banfield anchored and hosted three programs on TruTV including the daily legal news program, Banfield and Ford: Courtside; the weekly evening show, Hollywood Heat; and the prime-time special series that she created and co-produced, Disorder in the Court. As a correspondent for NBC News, Banfield reported for The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Dateline. During this time, she also anchored several prime-time series on MSNBC, including A Region in Conflict and Ashleigh Banfield: On Location.
About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ: NXST) is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Nexstar Inc., consists of three divisions: Broadcasting, Digital, and Networks. The Broadcasting Division operates, programs, or provides sales and other services to 198 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 116 markets or approximately 39% of all U.S. television households (reflecting the FCC’s UHF discount). The division’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. The Digital Division operates 122 local websites and 316 mobile apps offering hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content and creating new revenue opportunities for the company. The Networks Division operates WGN America, a growing national general entertainment cable network and the home of NewsNation, multicast network Antenna TV, and WGN Radio in Chicago. Nexstar also owns a 31.3% ownership stake in TV Food Network, a top tier cable asset. For more information, please visit www.nexstar.tv.
This communication includes forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements include information preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words “guidance,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “could,” or similar expressions. For these statements, Nexstar claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained in this communication, concerning, among other things, future financial performance, including changes in net revenue, cash flow and operating expenses, involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors, including the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the ability to service and refinance our outstanding debt, successful integration of acquired television stations and digital businesses (including achievement of synergies and cost reductions), pricing fluctuations in local and national advertising, future regulatory actions and conditions in the television stations’ operating areas, competition from others in the broadcast television markets, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Nexstar undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this communication might not occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. For more details on factors that could affect these expectations, please see Nexstar’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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