WGN America, Nexstar’s cable network, has announced the official weekday and weekend anchor lineup for its live newscast, News Nation. The three-hour nightly news show will debut Sept. 1 and will be led by a team of journalists from WGN-TV, the Nexstar station in Chicago and across the country.
The team will be led by veteran journalists and weekday anchors, Joe Donlon and Marni Hughes, breaking news anchor, Rob Nelson, and chief meteorologist, Albert Ramon, who collectively bring nearly 80 years of experience in television news to their roles and have covered everything from Presidential elections to hurricanes and the current coronavirus pandemic.
“Our on-air anchors and reporters, as well as those guiding the off-camera newsgathering process, are award-winning journalists who understand the importance of being objective,” said Sean Compton, evp of WGN America. “They reflect the diversity of our country and will be the backbone of News Nation, as WGN America begins charting a new course in television news, designed for the millions of viewers across the U.S. who want their news to be accurate, fair and without opinion.”
News Nation is overseen by Jennifer Lyons, who has over 30 years experience in the news industry.
“We’re adding more than 130 News Nation staff members to the 5,400 Nexstar journalists already reporting from local communities across the U.S.,” said Lyons. “We have assembled extraordinary teams both in front of and behind the cameras. They are true journalists coming together with a clear mission: your news, your nation. I think you’re going to learn so much about our country through them.”
The weekend News Nation team will be led by anchors Rudabeh Shahbazi and Nichole Berlie, breaking news anchor, Aaron Nolan, and meteorologist Gerard Jebaily. News Nation will air daily from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET, and will draw on the local, regional, and national expertise of Nexstar’s 5,400 journalists in 110 local newsrooms across the country.
The broadcast will deliver news reporting that is fact-based, impactful, educational, and unbiased. In addition to the live nightly newscast, News Nation’s team of reporters and producers will deliver news twenty-four hours a day online through News Nation’s soon-to-be-launched mobile app, NewsNationNow.
“Now more than ever, viewers rely on television news to stay informed about everything from the latest pandemic developments to the reopening of the economy and the upcoming election,” said Perry Sook, Nexstar Media Group President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have an opportunity, a mission, and the resources nationwide to bring Americans breaking news stories and live coverage delivered by reporters who know the local community and can provide unbiased coverage of events from coast to coast and deep in the heartland. Nexstar has the largest newsgathering organization in the country, with 5,400 journalists in newsrooms throughout the U.S. and Sean and Jennifer have curated an exceptional team for News Nation.
These journalists have broad experience, strong records of journalistic excellence, and their local perspectives will create a new fact-based and unbiased national news platform. We will be presenting news in a way that is free of any particular point of view as we debut News Nation on September 1 and we are confident that there are more Americans than ever who are seeking just that.”
Joe Donlon: For the past two years, Donlon served as co-anchor of WGN-TV’s 9 p.m. news in Chicago. Prior to joining WGN-TV, he was the main anchor at KGW-TV in Portland, Ore., for 21 years. His reporting has taken him as far away as Kuwait, just days after the end of Operation Desert Storm, and he has covered political conventions, impeachments and the Olympics.
Marni Hughes: A television journalist for more than 20 years, Hughes joins News Nation, from KCPQ-TV in Seattle, where she anchored the evening news for eight years. At KCPQ-TV she launched a regular health news segment focused on wellness and lifestyle and was recognized with an Emmy for a series of stories about families struggling to raise autistic children.
Rob Nelson: With more than 20 years of experience as a journalist, Nelson has been a correspondent for Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline. He began his career as a print reporter for New Orleans’ daily newspaper, the Times-Picayune. Nelson covered the arrest of legendary Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, the murder case against Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots and, live from South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s release from the hospital just weeks before his death.
Albert Ramon: Ramon was chief meteorologist at KVUE-TV in Austin, Texas, for the last 10 years. He started his television career in 2005, after joining the weather staff at KZTV-TV CBS 10 in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he ultimately became the station’s chief meteorologist. Ramon has covered severe weather throughout his career and has earned the Seal of Approval from both the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.
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The Saturday/Sunday anchor team
Rudabeh Shahbazi: A three-time Emmy award-winning anchor and reporter, Shahbazi has covered news in markets across the country, as well as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Cuba. Most recently she was the main anchor at CBS Miami for five years, where she anchored live continuous coverage of the Pulse nightclub, the Parkland school shootings and Hurricanes Matthew, Irma and Maria.
Nichole Berlie: Berlie joins News Nation from Boston, where she was a weekend evening co-anchor and general assignment reporter for WCVB Channel 5. She joined WCVB in 2016, from KSDK in St. Louis, where she was a weekday morning anchor. Prior to that, she spent five years as a weekday morning anchor at KETV-TV in Omaha, Neb.
Aaron Nolan: Nolan has served as a reporter/anchor at Nexstar television stations for 15 years, and was most recently the co-anchor at KARK 4 Today in Little Rock, Ark. He also served as the anchor of Nexstar’s NewsfeedNow, a daily streaming digital news interactive program. He will play an integral role in development of WGN America.com and the digital footprint for News Nation. Nolan has won numerous awards for his journalism, including an Edward R. Murrow regional innovation award for NewsfeedNow.
Gerard Jebaily: He has been an on-air reporter in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Savannah and Albany, Ga.; and most recently at KSHB-TV in Kansas City, Mo. Jebaily’s passion for meteorology began at the age of 6, when Hurricane Hugo devastated his home state of South Carolina. He built his own personal storm vehicle and in over 20-plus years of chasing, witnessed and documented a variety of significant weather events across the central and southern United States, including record flooding, hurricanes and massive tornadoes.
WGN America’s National Correspondents
News Nation will also depend on the following award-winning journalists around the country.
Tom Negovan, New York Bureau Correspondent: Negovan is a WGN-TV News veteran, with 15 years at the station covering political conventions, campaigns, hurricanes, the Boston bombings, riots in Ferguson, and the mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and Orlando. He worked as an embedded correspondent in both Iraq and Afghanistan, along the way picking up 19 Emmy Awards and nominations
Nancy Loo, Los Angeles Bureau Correspondent: Raised in Northern California, Loo joins News NationM/em> from WGN-TV News, where she was an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor. She brings an extensive background of international reporting, having worked as an anchor and reporter in Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York City and Chicago.
Markie Martin, Dallas Bureau Correspondent: Formerly the weekday morning news anchor for KOCO 5 News in Oklahoma City, Martin and her team were recognized as the Best Morning Newscast by the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters in 2019 and 2018. She was on air and in the field for the devastating tornado in Moore, Okla., and covered its aftermath. She also covered the Oklahoma teacher walkout and ceremonies connected to the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Brian Entin, Miami Bureau Correspondent: An Emmy Award-winning reporter for WSVN-TV in Miami, Entin covered several major hurricanes, including Dorian in the Bahamas, Irma in the Florida Keys and the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In 2018, he extensively covered the Parkland school shooting and was the first reporter to obtain video of the shooter attacking deputies in jail.
The daily show will air 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET.