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NewsNation Increasing its Weekly Hours; Joe Donlon Exits Network

Donlon’s last show will be Friday, March 25. 

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Over the next few months, NewsNation plans to increase its weekly hours of live news for a total of 61 hours. However, they’ll also be saying goodbye to anchor Joe Donlon.

The increase is up 21 hours weekly since the network launched in 2020. In June, NewsNation is growing its morning news programming block to four hours on weekdays, beginning at 6 a.m., with “Morning in America” airing from 7-10 a.m.

“NewsNation is well down the path to becoming a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week cable news network, and this latest expansion is a clear demonstration of our commitment to making that a reality,” Sean Compton, president of the networks division of Nexstar Media Inc, said in a statement

“The appetite for balanced, unbiased news has never been greater, especially in light of the war in Ukraine. Thanks to our incredible staff, we’re able to provide ongoing live coverage from the war zone and special programming regarding the latest developments in the region.”

Despite increasing their hours, Donlon will be leaving as the network grows. NewsNation stated he has chosen to exit the network, and his last show will be Friday, March 25. 

Replacing the Donlon’s show, starting March 28, Rush Hour, NewsNation’s early evening newscast anchored by Nichole Berlie, will extend from one hour to two, airing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

“It has been an honor to occupy this seat for the past year. Not many people get to host a national show like this, and I will always appreciate the opportunity,” said Donlon in a statement. 

“I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. I want to thank the incredible team at The Donlon Report for all their hard work. I have the utmost respect for what everyone at NewsNation is trying to accomplish, and I wish my friends there nothing but the best moving forward.”

News Television

Sinclair CEO Says Political Environment Is “Very Good for Our Business”

Sinclair’s CEO, Chris Ripley, offered his perspective on political ads at the MoffettNathanson 9th Annual Media and Communications Summit.

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The midterm elections are here, and according to one television executive, it’s the best time considering the amount of political advertisement money pouring into stations at the local and national. 

One key beneficiary of that cash inflow is Sinclair Broadcast Group, the No. 2 owner of local TV stations in the U.S. The company’s CEO, Chris Ripley, offered his perspective on political ads at the MoffettNathanson 9th Annual Media and Communications Summit.

“Some of these primary races are crazy,” Ripley said, per Deadline. “On the one hand, I lament that we’re in the political environment that we are. On the other hand, it’s very good for our business.”

Ripley used an example to make a point with his claim, citing U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance who won his primary race after spending a heavy amount ont television ads. 

Furthermore, the television executive adds that the $75 million spent on TV ads for the primary was 40 times more than what was spent on the primary in the last election. Ripley also added that spending on ballots is also up and should continue to increase as issues like abortion and legal gambling arise. 

“More and more issues are going on direct ballots,” he said. “With what’s going on with abortion rights, that’s going to just even add to that category.” Legalizing sports betting or cannabis are other issues generating significant ad spending.

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News Television

NBC News Correspondent Pete Williams to Retire

Williams will remain with NBC News through July before calling it a career. 

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NBC News

NBC News has announced Justice Department and Supreme Court correspondent Pete Williams will be retiring from the company. The reporter has been with the network for nearly three decades and has been at the forefront of many breaking news stories in Washington, DC. 

“Pete has been one of the nation’s foremost authorities covering the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice for nearly three decades,” NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said in a memo to staff

“His career has been defined by his reputation for accuracy, reliability, and unmatched expertise in the subjects he covers.” 

Williams has covered various topics for NBC News, including the court cases dealing with the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality. Earlier this year, the correspondent was the one who reported the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer would retire at the end of the current term.

“In short, for generations of NBC News reporters, working alongside Pete has been a daily masterclass in journalism. But perhaps more importantly, it has been a masterclass in what it means to be a good colleague,” Oppenheim added.

“Pete’s decency, kindness, and generosity are unmatched. For those that know Pete well, it’s his warmth, humor, wit, and compassion that will be missed most.”

Williams will remain with NBC News through July before calling it a career. 

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News Television

Chris Licht: CNN Must Be Beacon of Journalism to Functional Democracy

“Now, the next chapter of CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said

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CNN’s new president Chris Licht shed some light on the direction he plans to take the company at the Warner Bros. Discovery upfront. 

Licht spoke at the presentation alongside Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who expressed that CNN will be organized “to advocate for journalism first” and deliver for viewers “seeking more accurate information and less yelling and conflict.”

Furthermore, Licht proposed similar aspirations as he summarized his plan for the cable news channel to double down on what many might call sane news. 

“Now, the next chapter of CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said, per Mediaite.

“In a time where extremes are dominating cable news, we will seek to go a different way — reflecting the real lives of our viewers and elevating the way America and the world views this medium.”

The new CNN president also vows to “challenge the traditional philosophy of cable news, delivering programming and commentary that questions the status quo, shatters group-think, holds our leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to facts, and fights fearlessly to get to the truth.”

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