Recently Warner Bros. Discovery has sold majority control of The CW to Nexstar. Now some large affiliates in 8 markets are dropping The CW and becoming independent stations starting September 1st, 2023.
CBS stations in Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Tampa, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa have announced that starting September 1st, 2023, they will be dropping The CW and becoming independent.
“We look forward to reimagining these stations as independents while leveraging the considerable value of their prime-time real estate in each of the markets,” said Wendy McMahon, President and Co-Head, CBS News and Stations. “It’s an exciting time to look at new opportunities to add local programming, including live sports, and shows from across the Paramount Global brands. We are also grateful to have been part of The CW for 17 memorable years and wish our partners at Nexstar continued success.”
At this time, no word has been announced on if some other TV station in these markets will be picking up The CW. It is very likely, with this much notice, that a new CW affiliate, likely a Nexstar-owned one, will replace them in these markets.
This all comes as Nexstar has announced plans to make the network profitable by 2025. Part of its plans is to move away from younger scripted dramas to focus more on news, sports, and reality TV.
Recently The CW struck a deal with LIV Golf to air on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Nexstar has said they are exploring other options to add more live sports to The CW. This deal would bring 14 league events to The CW network. For The CW would be the first time it would have a national sports deal.
The CW deal with LIV is reportedly a revenue-sharing deal. Meaning LIV Golf may not get a big payday to sign the contract but would get a cut of any profits made on The CW. This would be a better deal than the reported FS1 and FS2 deal that would have seen the LIV Golf group pay Fox Sports to air its programming.
With the sale to Nexstar, the future of The CW is still unknown. Many scripted dramas have been cut, and some high-profile reboots like the planned Babylon 5 reboot haven’t been canceled officially, but their future is unknown.