Chicago cable channel WGN America is dropping its broadcast of WGN’s 9 p.m. newscast as part of an “effort to relaunch itself as a bigger player in the cable universe,” Robert Feder reports:
“We’re transitioning from a network with regional roots to one with a true national identity, driven by provocative, brand-defining programming of the highest quality,” Matt Cherniss, president and general manager of WGN America, said in a statement. “With this relaunch and our expanded portfolio of original content, we expect to significantly strengthen our position as a destination for viewers.”
Starting in April, WGN America will air its first original scripted drama series, “Salem,” set during the infamous 17th century witch trials in Massachusetts. In July, the network will premiere its second original series, “Manhattan,” dramatizing the race to build the first atomic bomb (known as the Manhattan Project) in Los Alamos, N.M.
WGN America has released a statement:
Chicago’s very own WGN News has many loyal fans and we are committed to continue making these news programs available to our viewers. In recent months, WGN America has been evolving its programming direction to best serve the interests of our national audience. An hour of the popular “WGN Morning News” has been added to the schedule for viewers to enjoy weekdays, and “WGN Midday” continues to air as scheduled. “WGN News at Nine” continues to be seen locally on WGN-TV, and is available nationally at WGNTV.com, where all WGN Chicago newscasts are streamed live.