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NewsNation Launch Thread

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Thread Notice: On March 1, 2021 WGN America will rebrand as NewsNation. As it will then become a proper cable news network, this thread documenting the start of the show as it existed on WGN America will be closed on that date. Please consider starting new threads to cover other aspects of the new network.

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2 hours ago, CalItalian2 said:

It's dead. Only getting 70k viewers, 12k in demo, it should already be cancelled. Car chases on Los Angeles tv stations Facebook accounts get more viewers than NewsNation does. 

 

I shall offer no other statement other than what is in my repost below:

On 10/21/2020 at 11:28 AM, J1975am said:

 

Give it time. Nexstar wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't a serious effort. They are trying to make WGN America stand out, you know........

 

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Fox Business had around 6,000 viewers in 2007 when they debuted. No calls from TVNT to immediately shut it down.   Newsy's cable channel currently gets about 6,000 viewers and they've been o

tsk tsk, some of you are SO quick to jump to your own conclusions and decisions about this thing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is a long game. They didn't pour X amount of dollars i

I do not understand how, after just a few days on the air, someone can declare, "this will not survive" or that "Nexstar's plan is just all wrong." This is a well-produced program that just launched.

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I agree, its dead. Here’s why: its NOT GOOD. It doesnt offer anything that makes me or anyone want to watch. Its something you watch for 30 seconds and go “this sucks” and move on. Its not like some great newscast that just needs to build an audience. Axios on HBO for example

is really good, and could build a loyal following. NN is just flat and forgettable with poor talent.

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5 hours ago, J1975am said:

 

I shall offer no other statement other than what is in my repost below:

 

No. There is no reason to wait. It is LOSING viewership not gaining. RSBN Facebook page had over 30K viewers for Trump's 3 PM EDT rally in Bullhead City, AZ today. 70,000 viewers for something that is available to 75 MILLION cable and satellite households is just downright pathetic and that is an understatement. They're already calling Shepard Smith's CNBC show a loser and it got 254,000 viewers in week 3.

 

Nexstar should immediately sell WGN America to get some value out of it before its too late. They have no business in running a cable network and it shows. 

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tsk tsk, some of you are SO quick to jump to your own conclusions and decisions about this thing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is a long game. They didn't pour X amount of dollars into NewsNation just to sell it off with the rest of WGNA. NewsNation is the first step in a much larger idea to (more than likely) create another CNN or FOX News. NewsNation as a show may not live forever, but you don't pour that kind of money into an operation if you aren't playing the long game (5-10 years).

 

There are logical next steps they can take to gain viewership and exponentially increase exposure (see: NewsNation airing in 30 minute, 1 hour, or 3 hour chunks on affiliates) so its far from dead. Any assumption to the contrary is very misinformed and simply not very well thought out.

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I hope so, but we'll see. At the very least, after COVID dies down (and the need for a separate backup team is lessened), I don't see the weekend show staying, and if any of the quartet leaves I don't see them being replaced (except maybe promoting Ashley Ketz from the newsroom weeknights to the anchor desk, on par with her husband who is on the weekend anchor desk - which unfortunately creates that one degree of separation that makes it not a true bubble). The weekend show has notably poor production quality, graphics, etc. akin to something in market 50. Same with the correspondents - if they leave, they're not getting replaced. 

Edited by polyiguana
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I have to wonder how much revenue Nexstar gets from cable systems and subscribers....it's probably fractional compared to the half-interests they inherited from Tribune (if they still have them?)

 

Would it be worth it to make WGN America a diginet for all of Nexstar's stations?  It would greatly expand distribution and make it visible to cord-cutters.

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On 10/28/2020 at 7:59 PM, TheGuru said:

tsk tsk, some of you are SO quick to jump to your own conclusions and decisions about this thing. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is a long game. They didn't pour X amount of dollars into NewsNation just to sell it off with the rest of WGNA. NewsNation is the first step in a much larger idea to (more than likely) create another CNN or FOX News. NewsNation as a show may not live forever, but you don't pour that kind of money into an operation if you aren't playing the long game (5-10 years).

 

There are logical next steps they can take to gain viewership and exponentially increase exposure (see: NewsNation airing in 30 minute, 1 hour, or 3 hour chunks on affiliates) so its far from dead. Any assumption to the contrary is very misinformed and simply not very well thought out.

 

you win the prize...

 

ask yourself

how many nexstar stations are doing local news at the same time...

how many of those stations are airing the same pkgs from their sister stations...

how many producers, technicians, and talent are involved in all this...

and how much all of this costs...

 

then consider how much they could save... one national show that covers the same material... rather than 100 stations duplicating efforts...

 

newsnation is not a cable news network... newsnation is an incubator to implement cost-saving measures down the line...

 

those political ad dollars are going to dry up in a week...

 

the cuts are coming...

 

if you though this year was bad... just wait until next year...

 

and if you work in TV... work on updating that resume...

Edited by Webovision
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Im hearing major talent changes may be coming, and dont expect a lot of the current talent to last beyond year one.

 

and no.. long haul doesnt always mean 5 years. Remember Al Jazeera America? Lasted two years. And that was only because it was financed by middle east money. 
 

i dont doubt nexstar will give this more time. But it has absolutely no redeeming value. 

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31 minutes ago, DENDude said:

When FOX NEWS Channel took a live camera shot of Denver early last week, it said in the upper right corner "LIVE Denver    KDVR/News Nation" 

 

KDVR Fox Cam on FOX News Channel

I recall seeing something similar when NBC was showing some b roll footage during their evening newscast with the “News Nation” credit on it. I believe this is another way Nexstar is trying to promote News Nation, via footage credits. Clever indeed.

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On 10/28/2020 at 1:01 PM, CalItalian2 said:

It's dead. Only getting 70k viewers, 12k in demo, it should already be cancelled. Car chases on Los Angeles tv stations Facebook accounts get more viewers than NewsNation does. 

I thought that the LA car chases were on broadcast TV on KCAL, KTLA etc.

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What were the ratings? They missed out on a couple key things w/ their graphics: 

- vote separation between the two candidates. 

- no ticker strategy like all the major news organizations have a producer for it to tie directly to the story with detailed info

 

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11 minutes ago, Sendir said:

What were the ratings? They missed out on a couple key things w/ their graphics: 

- vote separation between the two candidates. 

- no ticker strategy like all the major news organizations have a producer for it to tie directly to the story with detailed info

 


Ratings overall (21 networks) was down 20% compared to 2016 (56.9 mil.- 2020 vs. 71.4 mil. - 2016). 
 

I think they did ok, but there’s room for improvement. They need to break out of the local feel.

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So the question becomes, how fast do they pull the plug on News Nation?  To me it feels too much like local news, let me elaborate here: They seem to highlight stories that really aren't of national interest like this on there website today

"Rabid bat found outside Texas school, 15 kindergarten students seen ‘playing with it’ "  who cares unless your in Texas--this isn't something that should be national news.  Until they get that piece of the puzzle figured out the ratings are not going to be there.  Hell News Net feels more like a national newscast than news nation--the folks at news nation could be doing things much differently, take some ques from NBC Nightly News or ABC World News Tonight and it might help out the ratings. 

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My opinion: putting NewsNation on WGN America does no favors to either WGN America *or* NewsNation. WGN America was barely a thing *before* they launched NewsNation, so it's unsurprising that they're not getting much attention *after* launching NewsNation. Additionally, no one thinks of WGN America as a news channel (they barely think of it as a channel at all), so of course, people are going to gravitate to CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. when they want news. 

 

I think Nexstar needs to be all in or all out. This primetime only news isn't going to work. They either need to flip to 24/7 news and rename the channel to NewsNation, or give up.

 

I'd also double-down; rather than the "previews" they've periodically done, have a regularly scheduled NewsNation show on *every* Nexstar station across the country. Even if they have to originate it from an alternative studio and use someone else other than their primary NewsNation anchors, having a regularly scheduled national news program branded NewsNation will get the brand more familiar to Nexstar viewers. (Heck, they could even syndicate it out to non-Nexstar stations, although I don't know how many stations would take them up on that.)

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1 hour ago, DENDude said:

So the question becomes, how fast do they pull the plug on News Nation?  To me it feels too much like local news, let me elaborate here: They seem to highlight stories that really aren't of national interest like this on there website today

"Rabid bat found outside Texas school, 15 kindergarten students seen ‘playing with it’ "  who cares unless your in Texas--this isn't something that should be national news.  Until they get that piece of the puzzle figured out the ratings are not going to be there.  Hell News Net feels more like a national newscast than news nation--the folks at news nation could be doing things much differently, take some ques from NBC Nightly News or ABC World News Tonight and it might help out the ratings. 


They need to get out of the ‘local’ mindset for sure. Tuesday’s election coverage really brought some questionable decisions to light. Dean should have been in either DC or Delaware. They failed to play to his strengths (field reporting) and had him in studio playing the role of political editor (a role he didn’t seem completely comfortable in). 
 

I imagine at the start of the the year, we see some changes (I.e.. better story selection, different format, etc...) because Nexstar is a publicly traded company and a day of reckoning will come when shareholders start to question decisions concerning News Nation and WGN America.

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10 hours ago, jase said:

 

I imagine at the start of the the year, we see some changes (I.e.. better story selection, different format, etc...) because Nexstar is a publicly traded company and a day of reckoning will come when shareholders start to question decisions concerning News Nation and WGN America.


Nexstar being a publicly traded company is somewhat irrelevant. Nexstar is so big, the NewsNation budget is just a blip in the budget. Yes, they had big launch expenses, but they came at a time when they were integrating new acquisitions into the company, and likely already making big capital purchases. And yes, they do have a significant staff. But in a company of that size, the NN staff isn’t necessarily a stand-out, especially when post-merger layoffs and attrition would have offset them.

 

In the big picture of Nexstar, NN is a low cost, low risk venture. Relative to the rest of the company, the expenses are small; they are replacing programming that likely brought in small revenue anyway; and the expenses going forward are predictable and offer little foreseeable risk. At the same time, investors and lenders are shown a national product being produced for far less money than the broadcast or cable nets. That alone carries prestige and cachet, regardless of the ratings. It is the television equivalent of your doctor having National Geographic magazine in the waiting room. Nobody actually reads it, but it looks good.

 

Yes, NN needs to make some significant changes if it ever hopes to attract an audience and journalistic respect. They have knowledgeable and experienced news managers in place. I’m sure they know what has to be done. They have to make their moves with Nexstar corporate to move forward in their time, not ours. Remember, nobody enters into a project like NN without being prepared to lose money for five years.

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3 hours ago, MetroCity said:

Nexstar is so big, the NewsNation budget is just a blip in the budget.


Absolutely agree. Perry will play the long game even though he will make changes here and there the operating budget is not that big. They have facilities that are paid for, subscribers and advertisers. That’s why you see the anchors that are on there instead of someone for Shep. 

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