Sinclair Expands ‘National Desk’ to Evening News Time Slots

The National Desk Jeffcoat
Jan Jeffcoat anchors Sinclair's 'The National Desk'' (Image credit: Sinclair)

Sinclair Broadcast Group said it will be expanding its The National Desk news programming to evening news time periods on 68 of its stations, including all of its MyNetwork TV and CW affiliates, starting Sept. 27.

The National Desk newscasts will also stream on Stirr, Sinclair’s free over-the-top streaming platform and on Sinclair’s news websites.

Sinclair launched The National Desk in January in the morning on those 68 stations.

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Nexstar, another large station group last year launched NewsNation, a national newscast built on its local news operations. NewsNation launched on Nexstar's WGN America cable channel, which has since been rebranded as NewsNation.

“Across the board, both in audience research and organically from viewers, we have received exceedingly positive feedback that frequently cites the remarkable, unique value of The National Desk,” said Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair. “Going beyond reporting the news, The National Desk offers audiences firsthand coverage that is not always available online or on the national level, and we have found that people are eager for this content. Sinclair cannot wait for The National Desk to transform evening news after the success we have seen with its morning launch.” 

The National Desk replaces syndicated programming on the national

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Sinclair said Mike Garber, news director at KUTV, Salt Lake City, will lead the launch of The National Desk’s evening coverage. In June, he will become director of content, overseeing all of The National Desk, including its morning, late and digital programming.

The anchors for the evening editions of The National Desk have not been selected yet.

The evening editions will air from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the West Coast. 

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The National Desk currently runs daily, from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. ET.

Sinclair, which has a controversial reputation because of conservative commentaries it forced its stations to run, said The National Desk was intended to provide commentary-free news from national and local perspectives, taking advantage of the news operations and reporters it has at stations around the country.  

“Whether you are looking for the day’s biggest headlines, or what’s happening right next door, it is imperative communities small and large can access the news they need anytime, anywhere,” said Scott Livingston, senior VP of news at Sinclair Broadcast Group. 

“We have seen The National Desk do exactly that, and this is why our viewers value its content with such high regard. We look forward to The National Desk’s coverage highlighting even more groundbreaking news morning and night, every weekday,” said Livingston, who oversaw the launch of The National Desk.

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.