Taking the Super out of Superstation


We have some bad news for fans across the country of WGN's 9:00 News.

The station is pulling the national feed for the Chicago station's newscast.

Robert Feder says that the hourlong newscast, anchored by Mark Suppelsa and Micah Materre with chief meteorologist Tom Skilling and sportscaster Dan Roan, continues to air locally on the company’s Chicago flagship station. But as of this week, it’s no longer carried on the cable channel seen in 75 million homes nationwide.

WGN America has replaced “WGN News at Nine” with episodes of “Rules of Engagement,” as part of the channel’s effort to relaunch itself as a bigger player in the cable universe.

“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.

“We want our series to transport the audience to worlds that they have never experienced and tell big, operatic stories that entice and entertain,” Cherniss said.