Former ‘GMA’ EP lands at NewsNation

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

After abruptly exiting ABC News‘ “Good Morning America,” we know now where former the show’s former EP is heading.

Michael Corn quit ABC News April 15, 2021, a move that was unexpected and also coincided with the network naming a new president.

Corn was widely viewed as a possible choice to lead the news division, but apparently ended up being passed over in favor of Kim Godwin, a CBS import.

Now, the Los Angeles Times reports that Corn has been named president of news for Nexstar Broadcasting’s struggling NewsNation cable news venture.

When it launched in September 2020, the concept was a three hour primetime newscast called “NewsNation” that aired on the network then known as WGN America. It failed to make a splash in ratings.

Nexstar acquired WGN America as part of its purchase of Tribune’s broadcasting assets.

Then came grumblings of internal strife after it was revealed former Fox exec Bill Shine had been consulting for the venture since prior to launch. This was accompanied by reports that staffers were becoming increasingly concerned about the angle the organization’s content was taking — despite its no bias branding.

In January 2021, the network announced it would change its name to NewsNation and shuffle programming, including adding additional shows.

Meanwhile, reports heated up that staffers were wary of the changes, especially with the introduction of “The Donlon Report,” which was billed as a mix of analysis, interviews and news.

NewsNation then lost three major leaders — its vice president, news director and managing editor — in the span of just weeks.

The network forged ahead with its revamp, which had little to no effect on boosting ratings. Its interview driven “Banfield” drew just 17,000 viewers.

The show features Ashleigh Banfield as host with most editions taped in advance.

Corn left one of the most high profile jobs in TV news — “GMA” is one of the biggest money makers for ABC News — for a struggling news effort reportedly suffering from low morale thanks to the bad ratings and editorial direction, whether perceived or real.

It’s worth noting he did get the title of “president” — whereas Jennifer Lyons, who moved to NewsNation after spending 27 years with sister local station WGN (a separate channel from WGN America), was only a vice president.