Nexstar Media’s Cable Network, WGN America, to Rebrand as NewsNation and Expand News Programming to Five Hours on Weeknights Beginning March 1
NewsNation to Add Two New Hour-Long News Programs Monday Through Friday
“Early Edition” and “The Donlon Report” to Join “Banfield” in WGN America’s Expanding Evening News Line-up
CHICAGO, IL and IRVING, TX (January 25, 2021) – WGN America, Nexstar Media Group, Inc.’s wholly-owned cable network currently reaching 75 million U.S. television households, today announced that it will rebrand as NewsNation and expand its news programming to five hours on weeknights beginning March 1, with the launch of two new hour-long shows: “NewsNation Early Edition” at 6 p.m. ET, and “The Donlon Report,” anchored by Joe Donlon at 7 p.m. ET.
The new newscasts will join “Banfield,” hosted by award-winning veteran journalist Ashleigh Banfield, as new additions to the network’s news line-up. Banfield, an hour-long news and talk show announced earlier this month, will air weeknights at 10 p.m. ET, and also will launch on March 1.
Following the expansion, NewsNation, the country’s only live national newscast in prime-time, will be re-named “NewsNationPrime.” It will air from 8 – 10 p.m. ET and be anchored by veteran journalists Marni Hughes and Rob Nelson, who have been with the newscast since its launch last Fall.
“Rebranding WGN America as NewsNation underscores the network’s clearly defined mission of delivering fact-based and unbiased news, while making it easier for viewers to find this new informative source for news,” said Sean Compton, Nexstar Inc.’s Networks Division President. “At the same time, expanding our news programming to five hours Monday through Friday will extend the network’s reach and the depth of its news content across more weeknight time periods, delivering viewers more national news and regional stories from across the U.S., as well as coverage of the day’s most important issues.”
NewsNation Early Edition will air weeknights from 6 – 7 p.m. ET, with Nichole Berlie shifting from her role as NewsNation weekend anchor to hosting the new show. Prior to joining NewsNation at its launch last September, Ms. Berlie served as a general assignment reporter and co-anchor of the weekend newscast at WCVB-TV (ABC) in Boston.
“I’m excited to be a part of the NewsNation team and thrilled to be part of Early Edition,” said Ms. Berlie. “Our mission of delivering fact-based, unbiased news is resonating with viewers, and I’m looking forward to building on NewsNation’s solid start with this expansion.”
The Donlon Report will air weeknights from 7 – 8 p.m. ET and will feature a mix of news and interviews with today’s newsmakers. The show will be hosted by Joe Donlon, a 30-year news veteran and a member of the NewsNation weeknight anchor team since its launch, who will assume his new role March 1. Prior to joining NewsNation, Mr. Donlon served as co-anchor of WGN-TV’s 9 p.m. news in Chicago. His reporting has taken him to Kuwait, just days after the end of Operation Desert Storm, and he has interviewed Presidents Trump and Obama, and covered political conventions, impeachments, and the Olympics.
“The Donlon Report will give viewers an in-depth look at the news events of the day with the help of our correspondents across the country and interviews with experts who can add insight and perspective,” said Mr. Donlon. “We’ll dive into the biggest stories in news, sports, entertainment and culture while staying true to NewsNation’s mission of delivering objective journalism.”
Beginning March 1, the NewsNation primetime lineup will be as follows:
6 – 7 p.m. ET NewsNation Early Edition with Nichole Berlie
7 – 8 p.m. ET The Donlon Report
8 – 10 p.m. ET NewsNationPrime
10 – 11 p.m. ET Banfield
As a complement to the on-air newscast, the NewsNationNow app and NewsNationNow.com provide U.S. and international news 24/7.
Earlier this month, the network expanded its reach to an additional 8.5 million U.S. television households following recently completed distribution agreements with streaming, cable, and satellite providers.
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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