Hours before tonight’s debut of a three-hour primetime national newscast from Chicago that promises to be free of political bias, “News Nation” has received an unsolicited blessing from President Donald Trump.
“Good luck to Sean Compton, a winner at everything he does!” Trump tweeted at 9:02 a.m. Tuesday over a link to Stephen Battaglio’s story Monday in the Los Angeles Times raising the curtain on “News Nation.”
Airing from 7 to 10 p.m. seven nights a week, "News Nation" launches tonight on the WGN America cable network.
Compton, the Nexstar Media Group executive vice president in charge of the news startup, has been friends with Trump for more than 15 years. During Trump’s years on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Compton produced a nationally syndicated radio commentary segment for the reality TV star.
“I haven’t made a big deal about it when I’ve talked to him because he’s probably not going to like it every night,” Compton told Battaglio of the "News Nation" project.
Earlier in the story Compton was quoted as saying: “Sean Hannity is not news. He’s a friend of mine. I worked with him in radio for years. He’d get mad at me for saying that, but it’s true. Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon — that’s not news.”
A Nexstar spokesman declined to comment on Trump’s tweet.
Under the direction of Jennifer Lyons, vice president of news for WGN America, the company has hired 150 people for the $20 million startup at WGN studios on the North Side.
To monitor the product for any signs of bias, Lyons has designated two producers to scrutinize the language used in every story. In addition, Battaglio reported, a team of rhetoricians — made up of media consultants and academics — will deliver a report on how the program fared each night to Lyons’ desk.