Original Anchor Joe Donlon Leaving Nexstar’s NewsNation

Joe Donlon NewsNation
Joe Donlon

Joe Donlon, one of the original anchors signed up when Nexstar Media Group launched NewsNation in 2020, said he will be leaving the cable channel, which continues to expand the hours of news programming it carries.

Donlon will host his last edition of The Donlon Report on March 25. After that, NewsNation’s Rush Hour early evening newscast will expand by one hour, airing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Nexstar said the show’s staff will be redeployed to Rush Hour and other newscasts..

“It has been an honor to occupy this seat for the past year. Not many people get to host a national show like this, and I will always appreciate the opportunity," Donlon said. "I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. I want to thank the incredible team at The Donlon Report for all their hard work. I have the utmost respect for what everyone at NewsNation is trying to accomplish, and I wish my friends there nothing but the best moving forward.”

Other changes at the network include the launch of an 11 p.m. newscast, anchored by Marni Hughes and Leland Vittert. The network has been airing live news at 11 p.m. since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In June, NewsNation’s live, national morning news programming will expand to four hours each weekday. This expanded block of programming will begin at 6 a.m. ET, with Morning in America airing from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET.

NewsNation launched as newscasts on the cable channel WGN America, which was acquired by Nexstar when it bought Tribune Broadcasting. The channel was later renamed NewsNation. NewsNation started out with 21 hours of live news, analysis and talk. That is increasing to 61 hours a week.

Also: News VP Quits Nexstar’s NewsNation Amid Bias Concerns

“NewsNation is well down the path to becoming a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week cable news network, and this latest expansion is a clear demonstration of our commitment to making that a reality,” said Sean Compton, president of the networks division of Nexstar Media. 

“The appetite for balanced, unbiased news has never been greater, especially in light of the war in Ukraine. Thanks to our incredible staff, we’re able to provide ongoing live coverage from the war zone and special programming regarding the latest developments in the region. As a result, more and more viewers are relying on NewsNation for the kind of news, analysis, and talk that they can’t get anywhere else,” Compton said. ■ 

Jon Lafayette

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.