Sinclair Broadcast Group said it will launch its new weekday morning news show The National Desk on Jan. 18.
The newscast will air on 68 Sinclair station and stream on Sinclair’s Stirr streaming platform. All of Sinclair’s CW and MyNetwork affiliates will be airing The National Desk.
Jan Jeffcoat will anchor The National Desk, which will take advantage of Sinclair’s local news operations to offer both a national and local focus.
“This is an opportunity to bring national conversations back to a local level,” said Jeffcoat. “We understand the soul of the stories and communities in which we operate.”
Cayle Thompson will join The National Desk as a live desk anchor, working alongside Jeffcoat from Sinclair’s Washington D.C. newsroom.
Sinclair has a reputation for putting far-right commentary on its stations, but says “The National Desk will be commentary free.
“Stories that will be national news tomorrow are emanating from smaller local communities today,” said Scott Livingston, senior VP of News at Sinclair Broadcast Group. “The National Desk will provide Americans with the news they want to hear in a timely and accurate fashion. Our coverage highlights stories that represent the heart of America – we’re here to provide context rather than commentary.”
Last September, another large station owner, Nexstar Media, launched a three-hour nightly newscast -- NewsNation -- on its WGN America cable channel. It also aims to bring local news coverage to a national audience.
NewsNation reportedly is averaging about 15,000 viewers in the 24 to 54 demographic used by news advertisers, well short of its goals.
Nexstar announced that it was converting the third hour of NewsNation into a news talk show to be hosted by Ashleigh Banfield.
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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.