CHICAGO and IRVING, TX (News Release) – Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) announced today that its wholly-owned cable network, WGN America, which reaches approximately 75 million U.S. TV households, will launch a live daily three-hour national newscast. Beginning this summer, “News Nation,” will air in prime-time, from 8 pm ET to 11 pm ET, and will draw on the local market, regional and national expertise of Nexstar’s 5,400 local journalists in 110 local newsrooms across the country. News Nation will deliver news reporting that is fact-based, impactful, educational and unbiased.
In addition to the live nightly newscast, News Nation’s digital team of reporters and producers will deliver news twenty-four hours a day online through News Nation’s digital properties and its soon-to-be-launched mobile app, newsnationnow.
Broadcasting live from a new, state-of-the-art newsroom and studio located at WGN-TV in Chicago, News Nation will bring viewers breaking news and live video on the most important news stories and issues impacting the nation, as well as regional and local communities throughout the U.S. It will be a fast-paced newscast with a fully-staffed newsroom, dedicated digital and social media teams, and experienced reporters filing stories from around the country. News Nation will deliver three distinct hours of diversified content, with its anchors pivoting to various locations nationwide as news breaks and stories develop. News Nation will debut this summer, concurrent with several third-party syndicated entertainment programs ending their run on WGN America. As a result, News Nation’s programming and personnel expenses will be neutral to Nexstar.
Perry Sook, Nexstar Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “Nexstar has the largest newsgathering organization in the country, with 5,400 journalists in 110 newsrooms throughout the U.S., including capitol news bureaus in 20 states across the nation. We get to the scene of important breaking news first and provide live coverage delivered by reporters who know the local community and can provide the proper context for what’s happening. This is a powerful combination and gives us a great foundation on which to build News Nation.”
Sook continued, “News Nation will be prime-time content that WGN America owns and controls. By aggregating our current news resources to produce News Nation, we can leverage WGN America’s strong reach across the U.S. and develop a new unbiased national news broadcast without incurring incremental operating expenses.”
Nexstar’s Sean Compton, Executive Vice President of WGN America, believes News Nation will fill an important void in the current television news landscape.
“No one else is delivering news in prime-time,” said Compton. “Others are airing entertainment programming, sports programming or opinion shows, which creates a great opportunity for WGN America to provide an alternative in this daypart with News Nation. Across our markets, we consistently hear from viewers who are seeking straight-ahead, unbiased news reporting that is grounded in fact, not opinion. News Nation will deliver exactly that.”
Compton continued, “We’re committed to the success of this ambitious live newscast and digital app. We have a powerful promotional platform in our 197 local television stations, reaching 64 percent of the television households in the U.S., and we intend to use it to support News Nation on air and online.”
News Nation will be overseen by Jennifer Lyons, a media industry executive with 30 years of newsgathering and production experience, who has been promoted to Vice President of News for WGN America. Lyons was most recently Vice President/News Director for WGN-TV, Nexstar’s local television station in Chicago (DMA #3), where she was responsible for producing more than 70 hours of local news per week and drove the launch of several new newscasts.
“This is something new, something special,” said Lyons. “5,400 journalists working together for a prime-time national newscast and a team of people working around the clock to bring digital news and stories to life online. News Nation will be filled with award-winning local journalists telling local stories with national impact—stories that make you think. This will be a newscast that serves as a refuge for viewers across the country who are disenchanted with current news offerings and looking for fact-based news that’s delivered without bias or opinion.”
Future announcements and information about News Nation, including talent hires, the progress of studio and newsroom construction, and show format will be made on the WGN America website, www.wgnamerica.com.