NewsNation, previously named WGN America, had been positioned by Nexstar at its debut last year as a just-the-facts news channel. But the news director and managing editor of its prime-time news block, also called “NewsNation,” resigned soon after it was revealed that Bill Shine, the former Fox News co-president, had come aboard as an adviser. Journalists on staff complained about what they saw as a rightward tilt.
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Tom Carter, the president and chief operating officer of Nexstar, said in a statement, “The Hill has a nationally recognized brand known for delivering balanced political reporting, as well as authentic opinions and perspectives, and is highly complementary to Nexstar’s national cable news network, NewsNation.”
In an email to staff on Friday, Nexstar executives said they saw “tremendous synergies” between The Hill, which has more than 100 journalists, and NewsNation, as well as its local TV news stations. The executives added that the deal would make Nexstar “the fourth largest digital news property in the United States, ahead of Fox, ABC, CBS, The New York Times and BuzzFeed.”
Mr. Finkelstein, the heir to a New York real estate fortune and a longtime associate of former President Donald J. Trump, said that he had purchased control of The Hill in 2014, when it was primarily a print publication that covered Congress, at a fraction of the valuation he sold for. He said he had not always enjoyed the attempts by Mr. Trump and another old New York associate, the Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, to pressure him for favorable coverage.
In an email to The Hill’s staff on Friday, Mr. Finkelstein wrote that The Hill was “highly profitable,” with profit and revenue increasing at a rate of 50 percent a year. He called the site “one of the very few truly fair publications publishing accurate information down the middle.” Mr. Finkelstein said in the note that he would move on to “new ventures.”