CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Nexstar Media Group’s cable network WGN America has rebranded to NewsNation and has expand its news programming to five hours on weeknights with the launch of three new shows beginning Monday, March 1.
The three new shows include: “NewsNation Early Edition,” which will be anchored by Nichole Berlie, “The Donlon Report,” hosted by Joe Donlon, and “Banfield,” a news and talk show hosted by award-winning veteran journalist Ashleigh Banfield.
Following the expansion, NewsNation, the country’s only live national newscast in prime-time, will be renamed “NewsNation Prime.” It will air from 8-10 p.m. ET and be anchored by veteran journalists Marni Hughes and Rob Nelson, who have also been with the newscast since its launch.
Here’s a closer look at the three new shows launching Monday, March 1:
NewsNation Early Edition
“NewsNation Early Edition” will air weeknights 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Get breaking news, check in with NewsNation correspondents from around the nation and get the headlines as they happen so you can start your evening informed and in the know. Early Edition will also highlight Americans from all walks of life with specials showcasing trailblazers who are changing America for the better.
Berlie has served as NewsNation’s weekend anchor since the newscast’s launch last fall.
“Our goal during Early Edition is to bring you the news you need in an intelligent, informative and trustworthy way,” Berlie said. “We want to be accurate and dependable, while being fun and different.”
“The Donlon Report” will air weeknights 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST. By that time, you know the news of the day. Joe Donlon will tap into a common sense point of view when it comes to the most pressing and interesting issues and stories of the day. We will dive into everything from politics to pop culture. The show will give our audience opportunities to say “I didn’t know that.” The overall goal: don’t tell them what to think, give them something to think about.
Donlon, who has anchored weeknights since NewsNation’s launch, said his show will feature an “in-depth look at the news events of the day” mixed with interviews from experts “who can add insight and perspective.”
“We’ll dive into the biggest stories in news, sports, entertainment and culture while staying
true to NewsNation’s mission of delivering objective journalism,” he said.
“Banfield” will air weeknights from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, offering in-depth coverage of the day’s top news stories. It’ll also feature Banfield interviewing newsmakers, politicians and celebrities.
That late at night, you’re looking to exhale. Ashleigh will provide that respite while still informing and entertaining. When news warrants, we’ll cover it – specially tapping into Ashleigh’s legal expertise. We will invite big-name A-list celebrities, newsmakers, and public figures for a unique opportunity to talk for an hour. She will ask tough questions without being confrontational, and she will ask the necessary questions without making the guest or audience uncomfortable. No debates. No shouting over each other. A conversation. The guest is the star.
“What a thrill it is to be part of a team driving straight down the center lane,” Banfield said. “We’ve reached a time where Americans are hungry for facts without bias, news without spin, and guests from all perspectives. I can’t wait to go head-to-head with America’s top newsmakers and celebrities in a talk format that I’ve longed for since Larry King! It’s time to put in-depth interviews back on the cable news landscape.”
During her 30-year career, Banfield has served as host of the A+E prime-time series, “Live Rescue,” host of “Primetime Justice with Ashleigh Banfield” on HLN, anchored “Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield” on CNN, and and co-anchored the CNN morning news show, “Early Start.”
The expansion comes as NewsNation was ranked as both neutral and most reliable in the January 2021 edition of the Media Bias Chart from Ad Fontes Media.
NewsNation launched on Sept. 1, 2020, on WGN America. The cable network now reaches over 83 million households across the U.S.