CW Chief Mark Pedowitz Addresses Staff as ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia Explore Sale to Nexstar

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The CW Network’s chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz assured the staff at the younger-skewing network Thursday that it’s “too early to speculate what might happen” as joint-parent companies ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia explore a sale of the broadcast channel to Nexstar Media Group.

“So, what does this mean for us right now?” Pedowitz wrote in a memo to staff. “It means we must continue to do what we do best, make The CW as successful and vibrant as we have always done. We have a lot of work ahead of us — with more original programming than ever, this season’s expansion to Saturday night, our growing digital and streaming platforms — and we thrive when we come together and build The CW together.”

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As Variety reported Wednesday night, Nexstar is in negotiations with ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia to acquire a majority stake in The CW, the broadcast network born in 2006 out of the union of the now-defunct WB and UPN.

A representative for Nexstar declined to comment. ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday. News of the talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Nexstar, based in Irving, Tex., is the nation’s largest owner of TV stations and the core affiliate group for CW in major markets such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Nexstar’s pursuit of CW is a natural move for the company that has as many stations as CBS, NBC and ABC have as affiliates, although not all of Nexstar’s 199 full-power TV stations are affiliated with CW.

See Pedowitz’s memo to staff in full below.

To Our Valued CW Team

I am sure you have seen the recent speculation in the press around The CW, so I wanted to take the opportunity to address this with you directly and share with you what we know.

First, as many of you are aware, over the past year or so, this transformative time in our industry has led to a series of business activity across media and content companies. Given that environment right now, ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. are exploring strategic opportunities to optimize the value of their joint venture in The CW Network.

It’s too early to speculate what might happen, but we promise to keep you updated as we learn more.

So, what does this mean for us right now? It means we must continue to do what we do best, make The CW as successful and vibrant as we have always done. We have a lot of work ahead of us – with more original programming than ever, this season’s expansion to Saturday night, our growing digital and streaming platforms – and we thrive when we come together and build The CW together.

Mark

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