A fresh newscast is taking on the cable news big dogs by bringing neutral reporting back to prime-time. WGN America’s News Nation launched on Sept. 1, giving viewers an alternative viewing option apart from the mainstream outlets of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and others.
With today’s prime-time hits being ridden with opinion and further criticisms of one-sidedness, News Nation aims to supply viewers with what many of them have been craving all along: just the facts. In the midst of a global pandemic, one of the most controversial presidential elections in history and civil unrest, the program is providing nonpartisan, national news that viewers can come to their own conclusions about.
Before premiering earlier this month, WGN America and the networks owner, Nexstar Media Group, had to undergo months of hard work and strategic thinking in order to ensure an unbiased and modern news format that was able to run three hours per day, seven days a week.
Although based in the Windy City, WGN’s new endeavor is dedicated to providing news stories to people across the country. To do so, News Nation has unlimited access to thousands of locally based Nexstar reporters stretching far and wide throughout the U.S.. With this comes access to diverse and newsworthy stories, along with timely, on the ground coverage from reporters in their own communities.
In further efforts to keep the show neutral, WGN decided to cast a diverse group of anchors to weed out any preconceived bias towards the show. Although they are fresh faces to prime-time, Joe Donlon and Marni Hughes are no stranger to TV and journalism, with Donlon having 21 years of experience in Portland, Arizona and Texas, and Hughes reporting from Seattle, Minnesota and more over the past 20 years.
News Nation will also feature Breaking News Anchor Rob Nelson from New York and Meteorologist Albert Ramon from Texas on weeknights. News Nation’s weekend team will consist of anchors Nichole Berlie and Rudabeh Shahbazi, along with Breaking News Anchor Aaron Nolan and meteorologist Gerard Jebaily, all of whom have been successful local reporters in the past.
Along with their neutral on air team, News Nation also hired over 150 staff members, some of whom they refer to as rhetoricians. WGN’s new rhetoricians focus solely on word choice and decreasing the possibility of bias slipping into the nightly reports. On top of this, Nexstar spent over $20 million on remodeling their facility into a state of the art studio, with hopes of a positive viewing experience for all viewers.
During its premier, News Nation only saw around 146,000 viewers total, far less than some of its competitors from Fox, CNN and MSNBC. However, with the presidential debates and election right around the corner, WGN hopes to develop a greater and more loyal audience of regular viewers.