The Last 8 CBS-Owned CW Affiliate Stations Go Independent Ahead of ’48 Hours’ Syndication





Starting tomorrow, the last eight CBS-owned stations that are current affiliates of The CW network will transition to independent stations.

Two stations will have new call letters and branding starting Friday, September 1. KBCW-TV in San Francisco will change to KPYX and be branded KPIX+. WPCW in Pittsburgh will change to WPKD-TV and be branded KDKA+. These new brands follow suit with all letters for CBS sister stations, KPIX in San Francisco and KDKA in Pittsburgh. The remaining six stations’ call letters won’t change but will be branded to fit the city where they’re based and channel number.

“We are excited to be in this unique position that allows us to reimagine our local brands and programming lineups at these eight stations,” said CBS Stations President Tom Canedo. “We are beginning by opportunistically establishing local news beachheads in primetime in several markets.”

The change comes after Nexstar acquired a majority stake in The CW, which will result in a largely revamped lineup of programming for the smaller network. CBS had partnered with The CW for 17 years before Nexstar acquired a majority stake last year.

The stations will feature seven local, one-hour newscasts on their fall schedules, along with the new names. WPSG-TV Philadelphia, KMAX-TV Sacramento, and KDKA+ Pittsburgh will host the only local news show airing at 8:00 p.m. in their markets. KPIX+’s 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. news blocks will be the only local news in the Bay Area at those times. The station’s schedule includes The Morning Edition from CBS News Bay Area from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Additionally, seven stations will air CBS News’ 48 Hours during primetime starting Monday, September 11, as it launches into weekday syndication. It will air at 9:00 p.m. following local news.

Last week, KDKA+ began airing local sports during primetime by broadcasting the Steel City High School Football Showcase, a ten-week series kicking off at 7:00 p.m. The station also secured the rights to air college football Saturdays featuring the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

In May, the President and Co-Head of CBS News and Stations, Wendy McMahon, said the network is transitioning these stations as independent ones to leverage their “considerable value” during prime time hours by focusing on live sports and news. 

Stations transitioning to independents:

  • WPSG Philadelphia
  • WUPA Atlanta
  • KBCW San Francisco is now KPYX/KPIX+
  • KSTW Seattle
  • WTOG Tampa-St. Petersburg
  • WKBD Detroit 
  • KMAX Sacramento
  • WPCW Pittsburgh is now WPKD-TV/KDKA+

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