A cable alternative to CNN? WGN America prepares for national newscast in a crowded market

Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

"News Nation" will provide live news on its website around the clock outside of its TV airing.

"News Nation" will broadcast out of Chicago in the same location used by Nexstar's local TV station WGN. The program will draw on the 5,400 journalists working in Nexstar's local TV stations across the country, including KTLA in Los Angeles.

Nextar took over ownership of WGN America -- a cable network available in 75 million households -- when it completed its acquisition of Tribune Media in 2019. The channel will continue to provide entertainment program through the rest of the day.

While the "News Nation" anchors come from local stations, they do have national and international reporting experience. Donlon, co-anchor of Chicago station WGN's evening newscast, has reported from the Middle East and covered national political conventions.

Hughes joins "News Nation" from Fox-owned KCPQ in Seattle while Nelson, who will specialize in breaking news, last worked at WABC in New York. The program's meteorologist Albert Ramon joins from KVUE in Austin, TX.


The program's weekend anchors are Rudabeh Shahbazi, who joins from the CBS-owned Miami station WFOR, Aaron Nolan, an anchor at Nexstar's Little Rock station and Nichole Berlie from Hearst Television's WCVB in Boston. Gerard Jebaily, formerly of KSHB in Kansas City, will be the weekend meteorologist.

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