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Ex-Fox News executive named NewsNation’s president of news and politics

GARY COSBY JR. / USA TODAY NETWORK / 2023
                                Nikki Haley talks to Megyn Kelly on set in the Spin Room after the fourth Republican Presidential Primary Debate presented by NewsNation at the Frank Moody Music Building on the campus of the University of Alabama.
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GARY COSBY JR. / USA TODAY NETWORK / 2023

Nikki Haley talks to Megyn Kelly on set in the Spin Room after the fourth Republican Presidential Primary Debate presented by NewsNation at the Frank Moody Music Building on the campus of the University of Alabama.

Cherie Grzech, a longtime Washington executive for Fox News, has been named president and managing editor of news and politics for Nexstar’s cable channel NewsNation.

The Chicago-based channel announced Tuesday that Grzech will oversee its news coverage and political programming, which now includes a Washington-based Sunday roundtable show. She had previously been a senior vice president in charge of those units.

Michael Corn, who has been NewsNation’s top editorial executive since May 2021, remains at the network in a new role overseeing prime-time programs and specials.

Corn will move from Chicago to New York full time where the programs with anchors Chris Cuomo, Dan Abrams and Elizabeth Vargas are based. He will take on the title of president of programming and specials.

Both executives will report to Sean Compton, president of Nexstar’s network division. The company said in a statement that Corn and Grzech have signed new multiyear contracts.

The move is the second leadership shake-up at the outlet since it launched in 2020 as a programming block on cable network WGN America. The channel became NewsNation in 2021.

Corn, a former senior executive producer for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” was hired in 2021 after several original NewsNation executives left the network because they were unhappy with the channel’s early direction. Some were concerned about the involvement of former Fox News chief Bill Shine, who was hired as a consultant.

NewsNation was launched to provide an even-handed alternative to CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, which Nexstar executives believed had become too politically opinionated for viewers. But opinion-driven programs are what viewers tend to want from cable in prime time and NewsNation has added that to the mix with Cuomo, who arrived after being fired from CNN, and Abrams, a veteran legal commentator.

Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, a Shine cohort, frequently shows up as a guest on the network.

NewsNation has been cited as being in the political “middle” by Ad Fontes Media, an organization that tracks the leanings of news organizations.

Grzech spent a decade in the Fox News Washington bureau before she joined NewsNation in July 2021. She managed Fox’s Beltway news operation and was heavily involved in organizing the network’s presidential debates. She was not involved in the network’s conservative opinion programming.

While NewsNation has been adding viewers since its launch, it remains far behind the established cable news competition in the Nielsen ratings. Nexstar, the largest TV station owner in the U.S., has maintained that the operation is profitable.

The network managed to snag its first presidential primary debate last December, presenting the Republican candidates from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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