NewsNation news director quits weeks before expansion

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Sandy Pudar, the news director for Nexstar Media Group’s “NewsNation” cable newscast and future cable network quit Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, Robert Feder reports.

It’s not immediately clear why Pudar left, though FTVLive later reported that insiders said it was in protest for the right leaning direction the network’s content was heading after it was revealed former Fox exec and Trump adviser Bill Shine had been hired to help Nexstar launch the newscast.

Nexstar Media Group and Pudar declined to comment to Feder.

The newscast she led has been on the air five months and has failed to attract viewers.

WGN America, which currently carries the newscast, will rebrand March 1, 2021, taking on the newscast’s name.

At the same time, it will reshuffle and add talent and programming.

Pudar joined the local Chicago station WGN in 2009, when it and WGN America were still owned by Tribune’s broadcast division.

Tribune sold these assets to Nexstar in the fall of 2019.

Pudar eventually would become executive producer of the channel’s offbeat but popular “Morning News” and assistant news director for the station.

Pudar’s WGN former boss Jennifer Lyons was tapped to lead “NewsNation” as vice president of news. Lyons notably left WGN briefly in 2018.

Lyons left Sept. 14, 2018, to become vice president of communications and external relations for Catholic Extension in Chicago, after spending 25 years (at the time) at WGN.

She was rehired in October 2018.

After “NewsNation” was announced, Pudar was elevated to serve under Lyons.