Rebranded ‘NewsNation’ moving Joe Donlon to solo news hour at 6 p.m.

Joe Donlon

After five months as co-anchor of NewsNation, the signature primetime newscast on WGN America, Joe Donlon is being reassigned as solo anchor of a one-hour news show at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“The Donlon Report,” billed as a mix of “news and interviews with today’s newsmakers,” will premiere March 1 — coinciding with a rebranding of the Nexstar Media Group cable network from WGN America to NewsNation.

“We’ll dive into the biggest stories in news, sports, entertainment and culture while staying true to NewsNation’s mission of delivering objective journalism,” Donlon said of his new show.

Donlon was in his third year as principal news anchor at Nexstar flagship WGN-Channel 9 when he was tapped to launch the Chicago-based “NewsNation” in September along with co-anchors Marni Hughes and Rob Nelson, imports from Seattle and New York, respectively.

In response to dismally low ratings, Nexstar announced plans to cut the renamed “NewsNationPrime” from three hours to two.

Nichole Berlie

As of March 1, Hughes and Nelson will co-anchor NewsNationPrime from 7 to 9 p.m., followed by a new one-hour news and talk show hosted by Ashleigh Banfield at 9 p.m. Also new to the lineup will be “NewsNation Early Edition,” a one-hour newscast hosted by current weekend anchor Nichole Berlie at 5 p.m.

“Rebranding WGN America as NewsNation underscores the network’s clearly defined mission of delivering fact-based and unbiased news, while making it easier for viewers to find this new informative source for news,” Sean Compton, networks division president of Nexstar, said in a statement.

“At the same time, expanding our news programming to five hours Monday through Friday will extend the network’s reach and the depth of its news content across more weeknight time periods, delivering viewers more national news and regional stories from across the U.S., as well as coverage of the day’s most important issues.”

Effective March 1, the NewsNation evening lineup will be:

  • 5 to 6 p.m. NewsNation Early Edition with Nichole Berlie
  • 6 to 7 p.m. The Donlon Report with Joe Donlon
  • 7 to 9 p.m. NewsNationPrime with Marni Hughes and Rob Nelson
  • 9 to 10 p.m. Banfield with Ashleigh Banfield