Nexstar To Expand Local News Operations Serving D.C., Northern Virginia, Maryland

WDVM and WDCW will occupy a new state-of-the-art newsroom and studio. The combined operation will offer 67-plus hours of local news and be known as “DC News Now” and will be led by veteran journalist and news management executive Ben Dobson.

Nexstar Media Inc., said today that it will expand its local news operations serving Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Northern Virginia. The company plans to bring its two television stations serving the area, WDCW (CW) Washington and WDVM (ind.) Hagerstown, Md., together at one central location in the nation’s capital. The new, combined operation will be branded as “DC News Now.”

Both stations will broadcast from a new state-of-the-art newsroom and studio currently under construction on Wisconsin Ave. N.W., while maintaining a significant presence in Maryland and Northern Virginia. The central newsgathering operation will be supported by three newly established satellite news bureaus in Hagerstown and Frederick, Md., and Chantilly, Va. Each new bureau will serve as an extended newsroom and studio for DC News Now, capable of live reporting and staffed with additional journalists who will provide even more local news coverage for the area.

Nexstar said the new facilities and expanded staff “will establish a solid foundation” from which WDVM will launch a new nightly newscast at 9 p.m. ET, expand its existing morning news by one hour, and add a 30-minute nightly sports highlight show at 11 p.m. WDCW will launch a new nightly newscast at 10 p.m.

“This expansion is a clear demonstration of Nexstar’s unwavering commitment to local news and public service,” said Andrew Alford, Nexstar Media president of broadcasting. “The demand for local news, weather and information in Maryland and Northern Virginia, and in the immediate Washington, D.C., area has never been greater. We will be hiring more journalists and critical support personnel, significantly expanding our digital news capabilities, and building upon our strong legacy of providing high-quality local news to the communities we serve.”

Nexstar said that following the expansion, “DC News Now will provide more than 67 hours of local news programming every week, covering more communities than any other local broadcaster serving Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.” The ninth-largest DMA, Washington has a population of more than six million and more than 2.3 million local television households.

“We are extremely excited about this expansion, particularly because it enables us to launch new newscasts while also establishing three new satellite news bureaus from which we can deliver live news directly from within local communities in Maryland and Northern Virginia,” said David Bangura, WDCW-WDVM vice president and general manager. “These bureaus will give WDVM-TV and WDCW-TV a way of connecting to the community as never before.”


Veteran journalist and news management executive Ben Dobson has been named news director of the expanded operation. He joins WDCW-WDVM from Boston, where he has been vice president and news director of New England Cable News (NECN), a 24-hour cable news network, WBTS and Telemundo Boston since 2018. During his tenure at NECN, Dobson transformed the network’s programming and audience reach by launching new newscasts, creating a digital streaming department, and driving a renewed emphasis on online content. Prior to Boston, Dobson was vice president and news director at WVIT Hartford, Conn., and before that held a series of news management roles of increasing responsibility in Boston and Hartford.

Dobson said: “Bringing these two television stations together, adding more news hours, and creating three locally-based satellite news bureaus to serve Washington, D.C., and parts of Maryland and Virginia, is a tremendous opportunity. We are building something from the ground up at a time when more and more viewers are turning to local news organizations as their primary source of information they can trust.”

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