Anchoring weeknight broadcasts from 8PM to 11PM will be Joe Donlon and Marni Hughes, accompanied by breaking news anchor Rob Nelson and chief meteorologist Albert Ramon. All bring considerable experience in various local markets — Donlon at WGN in Chicago, Hughes at KCPQ in Seattle, Nelson at New York’s WABC and Ramon at KVUE in Austin.
The weekend team will be led by anchors Rudabeh Shahbazi and Nichole Berlie, breaking news anchor Aaron Nolan and meteorologist Gerard Jebaily. Correspondents in four major cities were also named: Tom Negovan in New York; Nancy Loo in LA; Markie Martin in Dallas and Brian Entin in Miami. Negovan and Loo are both WGN vets. Martin was at KOCO in Oklahoma City and Entin joins from WSVN in Miami.
Nexstar Media Group, which took control of WGN America after its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media in 2019, announced plans for the news overhaul several months ago. The company is aiming to leverage its leading station group portfolio as well as the carriage of WGN America in 75 million pay-TV homes to provide an alternative news outlet that it bills as being free of bias. News viewership has been surging in 2020 and the fall election is apt to continue the trend. In the years leading up to the Nexstar deal, WGN America’s programming lineup was defined by prestige dramas like Underground and Manhattan.
“Our on-air anchors and reporters, as well as those guiding the off-camera news-gathering process, are
award-winning journalists who understand the importance of being objective,” said Sean Compton,
EVP of WGN America. “They reflect the diversity of our country and will be the backbone of News Nation, as WGN America begins charting a new course in television news, designed for the millions of viewers across the U.S. who want their news to be accurate, fair and without opinion.”
Jennifer Lyons, a former WGN news director in Chicago, is overseeing News Nation as VP of News for WGN America.