Nexstar Media Group said it will rebrand its WGN America cable channel as NewsNation.
The channel, which has carried three hours of news under the NewsNation banner since last fall, will expand its news programming to five hours on weeknights, beginning March 1.
Nexstar added live news programming to WGN America at a time when syndicated programming on cable networks is losing viewers to streaming. The station owner acquired the cable network -- which had evolved from the former Superstation WGN in 2008 -- when it bought Tribune Broadcasting in 2019 for $7.2 billion.
“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.”
The third hour of the current three-hour NewsNation block will become Banfield, hosted by Ashleigh Banfield on March 1.
The remaining two hours of NewsNation becomes NewsNationPrime, airing from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. It will be anchored by Marni Hughs and Rob Nelson.
Joe Donlon, who had anchored NewsNation, becomes anchor of The Donlon Report, airing weeknights from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“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 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.”
The new extended news block will start at 6 p.m. ET with NewsNation Early Edition, anchored by Nichole Berlie, who had been weekend anchor for NewsNation.
“I’m excited to be a part of the NewsNation team and thrilled to be part of Early Edition,” said 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.”
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.