CW Affiliates In Chicago & Two Other Markets Switch To Nexstar-Owned Stations

The CW has switched three of its affiliation agreements to Nexstar-owned stations, including in Chicago, the No. 3 U.S. TV market.

Affiliate deals in Chicago, Norfolk, VA (the No. 43 U.S. market) and Lafayette, LA (No. 125) will all shift as of September 1, the company announced.

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Nexstar’s ownership of the largest portfolio of CW stations of any local TV player helped motivate the company’s move in 2022 to take a 75% stake in the broadcast network. Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery, whose corporate ancestors were the original founders of The CW, each retain 12.5% interest.

Andrew Alford, president of Nexstar’s broadcasting division, noted that the addition of these Nexstar-owned stations as affiliates will bring the number of Nexstar-owned CW stations to 42, covering more than 36% of U.S. TV households.

Under Nexstar’s ownership, The CW has expanded into weekend programming and added live sports, airing LIV Golf and ACC football and basketball. The company has also announced other deals and has promised affiliates it will carry 500 hours of live sports by 2025. That’s also the year when the network is projected to become profitable after years of red ink.

Weigel Broadcasting’s Chicago flagship station, WCIU, had been the CW affiliate in the market. The company said WCIU, Channel 26, will relaunch this summer as an independent known as The U, reviving a handle it first rolled out in 1995. Top-rated syndicated shows like Judge JudySeinfeldMathis Court with Judge Mathis and The Neighborhood are all continuing on the station and will be supplemented by additional off-net sitcoms as well as a new firstrun game show, The Flip Side with Jaleel White.

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