NewsNation Expands Morning News to Four Hours With New Duo

In NewsNation, New York City isn’t the de facto location for a morning-news program.

On Monday, the Nexstar Media-backed cable-news outlet expands its Chicago-based “Morning in America” to four hours and adds Markie Martin, formerly the network’s Dallas correspondent, as a co-anchor alongside Adrienne Bankert. There is some precedent for such a format. Robin Meade succeeded at it for 20 years by holding forth from Atlanta on behalf of HLN. Her program, “Morning Express,” was canceled earlier this year by Warner Bros. Discovery in a cost-cutting maneuver.

“I grew up in small-town Oklahoma, and often felt that national news networks catered more toward big-city lives,” says Martin in a recent interview. “I think our content lines up with what every American cares about on a daily basis.” Martin arrived in the Windy City for her new assignment just about a week ago, and was in need of furniture for her new apartment.

She joins Bankert, who came to NewsNation in 2021 after a stint as a national correspondent for ABC News.

“I like to say we are having brunch,” says Bankert. “Breakfast is pretty quick for Americans and, obviously, there’s not going to be people who watch all four hours, quite typically, but we will have something for everybody. We will have more of a conversation around the anchor table,” she adds. “It has always been my intention to create a warmth around the news to really have a conversation with everyday people, not just pundits and experts.”

Nexstar Media launched NewsNation in March of 2021, with the goal of offering something distinct from major cable-news titans such as CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC. Executives believe all three of those outlets have grown more partisan, though for the past year Warner Bros. Discovery has been trying to strip CNN of some of a sense that its reporters had grown more passionate and left-leaning during the Trump administration.

The efforts still seem nascent. NewsNation’s ratings have been paltry compared to those of its competitors. Even so, the network has attracted some big names, includng Chris Cuomo and Elizabeth Vargas, both of whom anchors evening programs.

NewsNation sent Martin and Bankert to visit some popular Chicago venues, part of a segment that will be shown Monday. As for what else might be on tap, the new pair say that audiences will have to watch.

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