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Ashleigh Banfield signs new contract with NewsNation

The network characterized it as a "multi-year contract" that will keep Banfield's eponymous show on the channel for a while longer.

The network characterized it as a "multi-year contract" that will keep Banfield's eponymous show on the channel for a while longer.

Journalist Ashleigh Banfield. (Courtesy photo)
Journalist Ashleigh Banfield. (Courtesy photo)

Ashleigh Banfield is sticking with NewsNation.

On Wednesday, the Nexstar Media Group-owned cable news channel said it had successfully negotiated a multi-year extension of Banfield’s contract, which will keep her eponymous prime-time conversation program on NewsNation for a while longer.

Banfield was one of NewsNation’s first hires, back when the channel was still operating under its previous branding, WGN America. She took over a slot occupied by a nightly news program in prime-time, vowing to resurrect the conversation-style chat show made popular by Charlie Rose (PBS, CBS) and Larry King (CNN).

“I’m an avid news junkie,” Banfield said in an interview with Variety. “Something that’s been missing for me as a consumer has been the center lane — I’m exhausted by the breathless fights in cable news, and I long for the days when I could just be informed of what was happening nationally and internationally without attitude.”

Over time, the tone of Banfield’s show has shifted from a conversation about the days’ news and events to an area where the journalist has excelled during her time with other news networks: Reporting on crime and other legal matters.

“As the crime genre continues to be an increasingly important staple for Americans, ‘Banfield’ has become an essential destination for true-crime fans,” Banfield said on Wednesday. “We are proud to be a place where viewers can come for a deep dive into the major crime stories happening across the country.”

Nielsen data shows the program is resonating with NewsNation viewers, with ratings for “Banfield” up more than 250 percent among the core demographic of viewers aged 25 to 54 years old, a group attractive to cable news advertisers.

Banfield was recently moved to the 10 p.m. time slot, where it competes with shows like “Gutfeld!” on Fox News Channel (currently number one in total and key demographic viewers, according to Nielsen), “CNN NewsNight” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” on MSNBC.

Despite the competition, executives are pleased with Banfield’s performance on the network over the past three years, and the channel wants to see more from her.

“Ashleigh is an incredible talent and a seasoned broadcast journalist,” Michael Corn, the President of News at NewsNation, said in a statement. “She covers crime and the justice system better than anyone, and we are thrilled that she has re-signed with the network.”

In addition to her role as host of the NewsNation program, Banfield also appeared on the CW Network’s new true-crime series “Crime Junkie,” which debuted on Tuesday. NewsNation and the CW Network share common ownership.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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