NewsNation announces departure of original host amid plans to launch more news

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Nexstar Media Group’s NewsNation is seeing another programming shakeup.

First off is the departure of OG anchor Joe Donlon, whose “The Donlon Report” will end March 25, 2022.

“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,” Donlon said in a statement to Robert Feder.

Donlon is leaving the network and Nexstar. He was previously primary co-anchor at WGN, Nexstar’s independent station in Chicago that shares production facilities with NewsNation. There’s no word on where his next job might be.

NewsNation Rush Hour” with Nichole Berlie will take over the “Donlon” hour, meaning it will run from 5 to 7 p.m. eastern.

Donlon is now the third of the network’s original hires to jump ship — Albert Ramon and Rob Nelson have both departed. Donlon was pulled off the hard newscast “NewsNation Prime” in January 2021 to host “Report.”

Meanwhile, in June 2022, “Morning in America” will add a fourth hour. The show debuted September 2021 and airs from 7 to 10 a.m. but will now start an hour earlier.

The network is also making the special 11 p.m. edition of “NewsNation Prime” it launched to allow for expanded reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine permanent. It will continue to be co-hosted by Marni Hughes and Leland Vittert.

Hughes will be the only original primary on air hire left with the network and former Fox personality Vittert will continue to host his analysis show “On Balance” at 7 p.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,” said Sean Compton, president of the networks division of Nexstar in a statement.

“NewsNation Prime” already expanded to two hours on weekends in late February 2022, giving it a 7 to 10 p.m. block.

All these changes will result in the network airing 61 hours of live news, talk and analysis every week, up from 21 hours when it launched in September 2020.

The network recently moved “Dan Abrams Live” to 9 p.m. eastern and will continue to air “Banfield” at 10 p.m.