Nexstar Media Group’s cable network NewsNation is entering the crowded field of Sunday public affairs TV shows.
The network announced Thursday it will launch “The Hill Sunday with Chris Stirewalt” on March 3, airing at 10 a.m. Eastern. The Washington-based program will feature news makers, politicians and commentators, reviewing major stories and discussing the week ahead.
The moderator, Stirewalt, is the former political director for Fox News and was a member of its election decision desk, whose call of Arizona for Joe Biden during the 2020 election angered former president Donald Trump.
Fox News never wavered on the election night call, which was confirmed by the other major networks nine days later. But it was widely believed inside the network that some loyal viewers abandoned the network over the decision.
Stirewalt left the network about three months later as part of what the network said was a restructuring. His exit was largely seen as a response to the backlash over the early but accurate Arizona call, which was even criticized internally by the network’s chief Washington anchor Bret Baier, as revealed during Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against Fox News.
Stirewalt joined NewsNation in early 2022 as political editor. He is also a contributing editor for the Dispatch, a conservative-leaning online publication, and is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a center-right public policy think tank where he focuses on U.S. politics, public opinion and the media.
Stirewalt will be guiding NewsNation into the longest-running genre on television, Sunday morning talk, the relevance of which has lasted through the seismic changes in the media landscape. The Sunday shows, as they’re called, still have importance in the news cycle, setting the agenda in Washington for the week ahead.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” is the granddaddy of Sunday public affairs shows, starting in 1947, followed by CBS’s “Face the Nation,” which started in 1954, and ABC’s “This Week, launched in 1981.
Cable news is also active in the day part, with “Fox News Sunday,” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“The Hill Sunday” is part of NewsNation’s expansion to becoming a full 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news channel that can compete with the more established CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
Nexstar launched the news operation in 2020 on its entertainment channel WGN America. The name was changed to NewsNation in 2021 as the network added more hours of news programming to the lineup. The network filled out its daytime lineup with news last year and announced in January it will have weekend programming.
Ratings for NewsNation have been modest, but Nexstar executives have maintained the operation is profitable. The network did raise its profile last month when it landed its first Republican primary debate, which was simulcast on Nexstar’s CW network.
Nexstar could eventually offer “The Hill Sunday” to its TV outlets, just as “Fox News Sunday” airs on the Fox broadcast affiliates.