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The Turmoil Saga of NewsNation


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Maybe someone can help me here but I fail to understand these broad doomsday statements. Saying that "NewsNation has lost a majority of its staff" is simply not true. There are about 150 people on sta

I hate to say it, but you know who is the one free agent that would save this channel?   Lou Dobbs.

hour long version of NewsNation...That's what I said!   I said it before and I'll say it again. How about an hour-long version of NewsNation? Or, even a half-hour version? Air that version o

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34 minutes ago, ScottJ said:

According to this Variety article, at a staff meeting yesterday Sook said the plan is "to build out NewsNation as an all-news, talk and opinion outlet by 2023." Will it really take that long to complete the transition?


Two years is a relatively short time span to fully become a 24/7 news channel. 

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One programming idea that CNN had in the beginning: Point/Counter Point  - with one main rule - each side must fact based - no BS - 

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On 3/9/2021 at 8:10 AM, GodfreyGR said:

In what has to be a first, The Today Show used footage and interviews from NewsNation on the broadcast this morning (top of broadcast too. :06).

 

Exposure is exposure...

 

Today NewsNation.jpg

 

This is probably because Nexstar is requiring its stations to burn in a "News Nation" courtesy on certain videos submitted to the network news services in a lame attempt to promote it. It's goofy, like everything else associated with News Nation.

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1 hour ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Perhaps if Nexstar focused their strategy outside of prime time, they may get more viewers.  Shepard Smith is likely bombing for the same reason on CNBC.

 

Possibly. I wonder if it's better to give Shep a daytime spot on MSNBC. There's a couple personalities over there that are not as well liked by the viewers. I think NewsNation could run a newscast at Noon, replacing one of the In the Heat of the Night slots.

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10 hours ago, ScottJ said:

According to this Variety article, at a staff meeting yesterday Sook said the plan is "to build out NewsNation as an all-news, talk and opinion outlet by 2023." Will it really take that long to complete the transition?

So much for the "Facts, not Opinions" slogan we were once promised...

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THIS email sent to FTVLive pretty much sums what is wrong and what could work going forward for NewsNation...

 

There are several huge reasons that News Nation is failing, in my opinion.

First.. the approach is all wrong. Stories from the Nexstar stations need to be local stories that can be easily adapted to national interest. It's all in the writing. You have to write those local lead-in's, NATIONALLY. You have to structure them differently. To a good imaginative writer, this is not difficult. If the news writer or producer is enthusiastic about it, the magic words are there. You simply have to make that local story in Peoria, interesting to people in Raleigh-Durham. You can only do that in the writing. You can also make a difference by re-editing the package, taking out some of the local references. It is NOT difficult.

Second... the anchors are all wrong for that show. Frankly, they are boring, seemingly uninterested in any story they're reading. Part of it are the words they're reading, but most of it is just flat deliveries. They just do not seem comfortable.

Third... timing is everything. News Nation has changed time on several occasions. It's not finding an audience because people never know where to find IT.

Fourth is the news approach. The world does not need another Fox News anymore than it needs another CNN. It does need a national newscast that is free of any political coverage. Yeah, I said it. Who cares what's going on in Washington right now? Who cares about Democrats and Republicans and what they think? In a political season, yes. Do political stories. Outside of a political season, can them. Nobody cares.

There are other subtle changes that News Nation needs to make, that won't get made. I crossed News Nation off my watch list after the second or third show. I haven't watched it since, and won't. I also haven't even bothered to watch Sinclair's National Desk. In my opinion, they are both and equally gigantic wastes of valuable viewer time.

And a way to drive viewership? Make a half-hour or hour long show to syndicate on their stations. It could follow the "PM/Evening Magazine" model. Have a bank of stories that are chosen and promoted, and that drive viewership to the main channel. It could be localized in the larger markets, especially if it's a story that originated locally or in the region.

And if all else fails, see if CNN still has the "jukebox" they used for Headline News in the 90s. Call me old fashioned, sometimes I just want to know what's going on at a random time....

 

And when HLN jumped the shark, the last days of the All News Channel was a good watch. They essentially did what Nexstar should have been doing all along. Using THEIR stations to present content to a national audience.

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I wonder would they have been better going the Discovery/A&E/National Geographic route of airing more cheaply produced 'reality' series/documentary series? WGN America had an original series featuring Dog the Bounty Hunter a year or two ago. If news doesn't work like it is now ratings wise do you think they will close it entirely or go a different route with the channel?

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This is a great column on the subject of NewsNation that is worth a read........https://tvnewscheck.com/top-news/journalism/article/newsnation-finds-itself-at-early-crossroads/


Sorry there’s no link attached. Ah, the fun of using mobile......😔

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On 3/11/2021 at 1:06 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

THIS email sent to FTVLive pretty much sums what is wrong and what could work going forward for NewsNation...

 

There are several huge reasons that News Nation is failing, in my opinion.

First.. the approach is all wrong. Stories from the Nexstar stations need to be local stories that can be easily adapted to national interest. It's all in the writing. You have to write those local lead-in's, NATIONALLY. You have to structure them differently. To a good imaginative writer, this is not difficult. If the news writer or producer is enthusiastic about it, the magic words are there. You simply have to make that local story in Peoria, interesting to people in Raleigh-Durham. You can only do that in the writing. You can also make a difference by re-editing the package, taking out some of the local references. It is NOT difficult.

Second... the anchors are all wrong for that show. Frankly, they are boring, seemingly uninterested in any story they're reading. Part of it are the words they're reading, but most of it is just flat deliveries. They just do not seem comfortable.

Third... timing is everything. News Nation has changed time on several occasions. It's not finding an audience because people never know where to find IT.

Fourth is the news approach. The world does not need another Fox News anymore than it needs another CNN. It does need a national newscast that is free of any political coverage. Yeah, I said it. Who cares what's going on in Washington right now? Who cares about Democrats and Republicans and what they think? In a political season, yes. Do political stories. Outside of a political season, can them. Nobody cares.

There are other subtle changes that News Nation needs to make, that won't get made. I crossed News Nation off my watch list after the second or third show. I haven't watched it since, and won't. I also haven't even bothered to watch Sinclair's National Desk. In my opinion, they are both and equally gigantic wastes of valuable viewer time.

And a way to drive viewership? Make a half-hour or hour long show to syndicate on their stations. It could follow the "PM/Evening Magazine" model. Have a bank of stories that are chosen and promoted, and that drive viewership to the main channel. It could be localized in the larger markets, especially if it's a story that originated locally or in the region.

And if all else fails, see if CNN still has the "jukebox" they used for Headline News in the 90s. Call me old fashioned, sometimes I just want to know what's going on at a random time....

 

And when HLN jumped the shark, the last days of the All News Channel was a good watch. They essentially did what Nexstar should have been doing all along. Using THEIR stations to present content to a national audience.

 

I think where they're pulling stories from is important too. They're right about writing a local story in Timbuktu so that it's interesting to people living in Timbukthree, but what market is Timbuktu? If you're trying to take a small-market package and make it national worthy, you're going to run into a quality issue with said story likely coming from a young, inexperienced journalist who isn't yet capable of writing to that level or thinking that large.

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On 3/11/2021 at 12:06 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

THIS email sent to FTVLive pretty much sums what is wrong and what could work going forward for NewsNation...

 

There are several huge reasons that News Nation is failing, in my opinion.

First.. the approach is all wrong. Stories from the Nexstar stations need to be local stories that can be easily adapted to national interest. It's all in the writing. You have to write those local lead-in's, NATIONALLY. You have to structure them differently. To a good imaginative writer, this is not difficult. If the news writer or producer is enthusiastic about it, the magic words are there. You simply have to make that local story in Peoria, interesting to people in Raleigh-Durham. You can only do that in the writing. You can also make a difference by re-editing the package, taking out some of the local references. It is NOT difficult.

Second... the anchors are all wrong for that show. Frankly, they are boring, seemingly uninterested in any story they're reading. Part of it are the words they're reading, but most of it is just flat deliveries. They just do not seem comfortable.

Third... timing is everything. News Nation has changed time on several occasions. It's not finding an audience because people never know where to find IT.

Fourth is the news approach. The world does not need another Fox News anymore than it needs another CNN. It does need a national newscast that is free of any political coverage. Yeah, I said it. Who cares what's going on in Washington right now? Who cares about Democrats and Republicans and what they think? In a political season, yes. Do political stories. Outside of a political season, can them. Nobody cares.

There are other subtle changes that News Nation needs to make, that won't get made. I crossed News Nation off my watch list after the second or third show. I haven't watched it since, and won't. I also haven't even bothered to watch Sinclair's National Desk. In my opinion, they are both and equally gigantic wastes of valuable viewer time.

And a way to drive viewership? Make a half-hour or hour long show to syndicate on their stations. It could follow the "PM/Evening Magazine" model. Have a bank of stories that are chosen and promoted, and that drive viewership to the main channel. It could be localized in the larger markets, especially if it's a story that originated locally or in the region.

And if all else fails, see if CNN still has the "jukebox" they used for Headline News in the 90s. Call me old fashioned, sometimes I just want to know what's going on at a random time....

 

And when HLN jumped the shark, the last days of the All News Channel was a good watch. They essentially did what Nexstar should have been doing all along. Using THEIR stations to present content to a national audience.

 

31 minutes ago, MidwestTV said:

 

I think where they're pulling stories from is important too. They're right about writing a local story in Timbuktu so that it's interesting to people living in Timbukthree, but what market is Timbuktu? If you're trying to take a small-market package and make it national worthy, you're going to run into a quality issue with said story likely coming from a young, inexperienced journalist who isn't yet capable of writing to that level or thinking that large.

We have to remember when NewsNation runs a story from one of Nexstar's markets, that local reporter doing the story is mentioned on-air as a "NewsNation reporter." So, if (let's say) a report on the recent blizzard runs on KDVR/KWGN in Denver (both Nexstar stations), that reporter on said station will most likely first use their station's mic flag for the local run, before using the NewsNation mic flag for the national run of that story. (The story, BTW, would probably air first locally before airing nationally.)

 

It may sound kind of corny, but I tend to think Nexstar is also using NewsNation as a showcase for all the journalistic work done by reporters all across the Nexstar station spectrum. If one is a reporter at a Nexstar station and he or she is chosen somehow to file a report for NewsNation, this would be considered a major honor/accomplishment for that reporter. (Scripps sometimes does the same thing with Newsy, in which reports from some of their stations also air at various points on the channel's programs.)

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On 3/10/2021 at 5:37 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

Perhaps if Nexstar focused their strategy outside of prime time, they may get more viewers.  Shepard Smith is likely bombing for the same reason on CNBC.

Thing is, Shep is hosting a specialty show on a business channel that’s running up against one of MSNBC’s star opinion hosts (Joy Reid). I doubt there were any expectations for his show in the first place, certainly nothing like NewsNation had.

On 3/12/2021 at 12:05 PM, zeebre12 said:

I wonder would they have been better going the Discovery/A&E/National Geographic route of airing more cheaply produced 'reality' series/documentary series? WGN America had an original series featuring Dog the Bounty Hunter a year or two ago. If news doesn't work like it is now ratings wise do you think they will close it entirely or go a different route with the channel?

Nexstar may have no choice but to sell off the transponder space. What do you do with a channel that just blew up their prior identity and is slowly shedding their non-news program inventory? They can’t just snap a finger and go back to WGN America.

 

I think what’s striking here is how Perry and Sean Compton are totally repeating the mistakes that doomed Al Jazeera America five years ago, when the lessons were blatantly obvious in this Broadcasting & Cable op-ed:

 

Quote

Cable news viewers are old. Fox News’s average viewer is 67; CNN and MSBC viewers are around 60.  AJA does not appeal that generation. Its opportunity is with younger viewers, an audience far more lucrative to advertisers. ... What AJA could have and should have done, is to launch a linear channel through connected TV app, leveraging its strength among younger viewers to become, effectively, the first linear TV station, viewable across the Internet instead of via the cable bundle. Instead, AJA took its strength (its appeal to younger viewers) and turned it into a disadvantage, like selling baby bottles in a retirement home.

 

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This should have been an OTT thing from the start.  Cable is dying faster than the subscribers who are dropping it.  And whatever efforts Nexstar is doing digitally (like their digital desk at WFLA in Tampa) are being buried on the web.

 

Even as a last resort, there's Antenna TV, now wouldn't that be the ultimate oxymoron if they end up on cable 🤣🤣.  Even then, the shows they air are mostly available 24/7 on places like Pluto TV...

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3 hours ago, Myron Falwell said:

Thing is, Shep is hosting a specialty show on a business channel that’s running up against one of MSNBC’s star opinion hosts (Joy Reid). I doubt there were any expectations for his show in the first place, certainly nothing like NewsNation had.

Nexstar may have no choice but to sell off the transponder space. What do you do with a channel that just blew up their prior identity and is slowly shedding their non-news program inventory? They can’t just snap a finger and go back to WGN America.

 

I think what’s striking here is how Perry and Sean Compton are totally repeating the mistakes that doomed Al Jazeera America five years ago, when the lessons were blatantly obvious in this Broadcasting & Cable op-ed:

 

 

 

Most people know CNBC best as a business/financial channel. Going from hours of business programming to Shep's general news show to business reality shows is a trainwreck. There have been rumors of CNBC going right-wing talk at night. I haven't heard about that in a few months, but I know Shep wasn't happy about Fox News towards the end of his time there, and I doubt he'll be happy if CNBC tries this strategy.

 

Nexstar won't go back to WGN America at all.

1 hour ago, tyrannical bastard said:

This should have been an OTT thing from the start.  Cable is dying faster than the subscribers who are dropping it.  And whatever efforts Nexstar is doing digitally (like their digital desk at WFLA in Tampa) are being buried on the web.

 

Even as a last resort, there's Antenna TV, now wouldn't that be the ultimate oxymoron if they end up on cable 🤣🤣.  Even then, the shows they air are mostly available 24/7 on places like Pluto TV...

 

If Nexstar were to ever change Antenna TV, there would be a backlash from all over. MeTV may be the most popular classic TV outlet, but Antenna TV has a decent following as well. 

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There are still some distribution holes for Antenna TV.   Making it OTT (like Sinclair and Katz/Scripps have done with their diginets) would certainly fill in some holes, and given the programming that it airs it should be relatively easy to do rights-wise.

 

Nexstar just needs to go OTT, like yesterday.  Their stations, networks, and digital efforts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

On Spectrum cable in Southern California, the on-screen channel guide listing still shows WGNA (and a very small blurry NewsNation logo that nobody can see). I have a 77" QLED tv in my bedroom and can hardly see it. Also, the Spectrum app lists just WGN AMERICA in the channel listings. How is anyone even supposed to find this joke news network?

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5 minutes ago, CalItalian2 said:

On Spectrum cable in Southern California, the on-screen channel guide listing still shows WGNA (and a very small blurry NewsNation logo that nobody can see). I have a 77" QLED tv in my bedroom and can hardly see it. Also, the Spectrum app lists just WGN AMERICA in the channel listings. How is anyone even supposed to find this joke news network?

I'm sure you can buy a champagne and celebrate the failure that is NewsNation. You're free to gloat.

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On 3/10/2021 at 5:37 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

Shepard Smith is likely bombing for the same reason on CNBC.

 

I like Shep when he was in his prime on Fox during the 7:00 show. But now, Shepherd Smith is old and haggard looking. He's got that rode hard look these days. And then there is his severe case of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) that probably turned off most of his fans. It's too bad, because he was very good at one point.

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On 4/2/2021 at 1:26 PM, CalItalian2 said:

On Spectrum cable in Southern California, the on-screen channel guide listing still shows WGNA (and a very small blurry NewsNation logo that nobody can see). I have a 77" QLED tv in my bedroom and can hardly see it. Also, the Spectrum app lists just WGN AMERICA in the channel listings. How is anyone even supposed to find this joke news network?

 

I imagine that it takes time to switch these types of things over to the new brand.  I will say that I get Spectrum where I currently live in the Charlotte area.  Sometime after NewsNation debuted as a newscast, WGN America went from being letterboxed to full screen. Despite this, NewsNation still appears on my Spectrum service in standard-definition (at last check).  But it sure seems that they are in no hurry to switch Spectrum fully over to the HD feed. 

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On 3/19/2021 at 3:22 PM, tyrannical bastard said:

Nexstar just needs to go OTT, like yesterday.  Their stations, networks, and digital efforts.

 

I was curious about this whole digital phenomenon. It seems to me this whole infrastructure of building 1000 ft towers and lifting 20,000 lb antennas into place is very expensive and I wonder if the cost is sustainable given that I can broadcast with my smartphone if I wanted to.

 

I asked some guys in radio about it and they still said it's cheaper to do it the conventional way than it is to go through the web using bandwidth. If this is true, I wonder how long all of these free video services are going to last given that video is more intensive than audio, bandwidth-wise.

 

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11 minutes ago, WWUpdate said:

Narrator: Shepard Smith is 57 years old.

 

Arguably, your peak years are in your 40s. It's all downhill after that. There are exceptions, but Shep isn't one of them.

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