Journalists Rebel at NewsNation, a Newcomer in Cable News


On Sept. 1, the day of the “NewsNation” premiere, Mr. Trump tweeted: “Good luck to Sean Compton, a winner at everything he does.” That night time, the present drew an viewers of 130,000 viewers, in accordance with Nielsen. Since then the rankings have steadily dropped. Episodes in the week of Feb. 8 had a mean viewers of 58,000, and fell to 37,000 on March 1.

The present had the in-house code title “Project Neutral” throughout its planning part. To lead the newsroom, Mr. Compton employed Jennifer Lyons and Sandy Pudar, two well-regarded veterans of the Chicago station WGN-TV.

An early warning signal for many individuals at the present got here Sept. 22, when it broadcast a one-on-one interview with President Trump, an interview performed simply exterior the White House by a “NewsNation” anchor, Joe Donlon. Mr. Compton had helped organize the interview, as “NewsNation” famous on its web site, and he accompanied the anchor to the White House.

Four “NewsNation” employees members stated that, in their view, Mr. Donlon had not sufficiently challenged Mr. Trump’s false claims. And a few of the anchor’s questions — he requested the president to explain his greatest accomplishment and what he loved about his rallies — struck them as comfortable, they stated. Steve Johnson, The Chicago Tribune’s TV critic, agreed, slamming Mr. Donlon’s efficiency in a evaluate that known as the section “a 15-minute prime-time opportunity for the president to repeat campaign talking points without having to answer on matters of fact or logic.”

Ms. Pudar, the information director, resigned abruptly on Feb. 2. The subsequent day, FTV Live, a cable business web site, broke the information of Mr. Shine’s involvement in “NewsNation,” additional inflaming the employees, in accordance with six individuals at the present.

Mr. Shine is a onetime lieutenant to Roger E. Ailes, the community’s late chairman, who was ousted in 2016 after dealing with accusations of sexual harassment. Mr. Shine himself was pushed out of Fox News in 2017, after he was accused in lawsuits of enabling Mr. Ailes’s conduct. The subsequent year he joined the Trump administration as its communications head. He didn’t reply to requests for remark.

On Feb. 5, Mr. Compton led a meeting of key “NewsNation” employees members, about 40 individuals in all, in accordance with the six individuals. He supplied his view of the present throughout the meeting, saying it supplied “friendly, vanilla news,” an method, he added, that was “not working,” in accordance with two individuals with data of the meeting. Asked about Mr. Shine, Mr. Compton stated he was “just a consultant” and urged the employees to maintain an open thoughts about him.


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