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Michael Corn, the former top producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” has joined Nexstar Media Group’s “NewsNation” as president of news, the latest attempt by Nexstar to boost a programming initiative that has faced tremendous headwinds.

Corn will oversee NewsNation’s current news programming and new efforts as well. The company recently indicated it would launch a morning program in addition to the evening hours it currently maintains. NewsNation takes up a good chunk of the schedule on the cable outlet once known as WGN America. Nexstar, one of the nation’s largest owners of TV stations, is betting it can operate news programing based on the efforts of its local stations and make a better profit than it did with hours of syndicated repeats that come with hefty licensing fees.

So far, the experiment has fizzled. Ratings for “NewsNation” programming, billed as a down-the-center alternative to the primetime efforts of Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC, have been low. even as the company has hired new anchors and even launched an evening interview show led by veteran Ashleigh Banfield. Meanwhile, some top editorial staffers at “NewsNation” left upon discovering that Bill Shine, a former top executive at Fox News, was consulting on some of the programming efforts.

“Michael is a talented, innovative producer and executive with more than 25 years of network experience in the news business,” said Sean Compton, president of Nexstar Media’s networks division, in a prepared statement. “He has built award-winning news broadcasts and understands NewsNation’s mission to provide our audience with fact-based news
without bias.” He added: “He is a great fit for NewsNation and will be a tremendous leader for the network.”

Corn spent years at ABC News, working as top producer at “World News Tonight” during Diane Sawyer’s tenure and then taking the reins at “GMA,” one of ABC’s most critically important programs.  He joined ABC News  as an investigative producer for “Good Morning America” in 2002.

His departure from ABC News was abrupt, and took staffers there by surprise. ABC News recently named Kim Godwin, a former senior executive at CBS News, as its president and there has been speculation that Corn wanted to be considered for the role.

“I’m extremely impressed with NewsNation and its mission, as well as with the breadth and depth of the experience of the news staff,” said Mr. Corn, in a statement. “Our ability to tap into a network of over 5,500 journalists and 110 newsrooms is unparalleled in this business. I’m excited to showcase the best and brightest people and stories from all over the country as we bring viewers news they can trust. I am thrilled to join this team.”