Nexstar To Launch Nightly Newscast On WGN America

Wgn America

Nexstar Media Group is launching a three-hour nightly newscast on its flagship cable channel WGN America, drawing on local journalists for reports from its stations across the country.

News Nation will broadcast from a newsroom and studio at WGN-TV in Chicago, and will launch this summer. Jennifer Lyons, who most recently was vice president and news director of the station, will oversee the newscast as vice president of news.

“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,” Lyons said in a statement.

Following its acquisition of Tribune Media last year, Nexstar became the largest station owner in the country, with 197 outlets. Perry Sook, Nexstar’s chairman, said that their stations employ 5,400 journalists in 110 newsrooms, and that 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 US and develop an unbiased national news broadcast without incurring incremental operating expenses.” WGN America reaches 75 million households.

Nexstar acquired Tribune Media after an earlier Sinclair-Tribune transaction was scuttled in the face of regulatory delay. The Sinclair-Tribune merger was more controversial, as opponents warned that Sinclair would use its nationwide reach to launch a conservative news outlet to rival Fox News, a prospect that Sinclair denied.

Nexstar, though, is stressing that its newscast will be focused on fact-based news and not opinion journalism. In a memo to employees, Sook wrote that with the launch of News Nation, they will be adding 120 new employees who will be exclusive to the show. Also being launched is a mobile app, newsnationnow, that will provide news coverage 24 hours a day.

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