Eight CBS-owned TV stations will be dropping their affiliation with The CW and becoming independent stations as of September.
The stations are: WPSG Philadelphia (DMA #4), WUPA Atlanta (DMA #6), KBCW San Francisco (DMA #10), KSTW Seattle (DMA #12), WTOG Tampa-St. Petersburg (DMA #13), WKBD Detroit (DMA #14), KMAX Sacramento (DMA #20), and WPCW Pittsburgh (DMA #26). This will give the CBS Stations group a total of 14 CBS Television Network stations and 13 independent stations.
More from Variety
“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 of 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.”
As McMahon noted, Nexstar acquired a majority stake in The CW last year, with Paramount and Warner Bros. Discovery retaining 12.5% each of the broadcaster. Nexstar has the option to buy out that remaining outside stake in 2024, while Paramount and WBD could force Nexstar to acquire their stakes in 2026.
“Since our acquisition of The CW Network last October, we have known that Paramount Global might transition the network affiliations of eight of its company-owned stations later this year,” Nexstar Media Group said in a statement. “We are prepared for this possibility and confident that The CW Network will continue reaching 100% of U.S. television households without interruption. Paramount’s decision affects a limited portion of The CW’s nationwide reach, and we have already received multiple expressions of interest from station groups hoping to deepen their relationship with The CW by aligning more of their stations with the network.”
Since acquiring their stake in The CW, Nexstar has largely moved away from the network’s previous scripted series strategy and has instead focused on low-cost unscripted fare, foreign acquisitions, and live sports like LIV Golf. Most recently, The CW picked up the HBO Max reality series “FBoy Island” for a third season, while also ordering a spinoff series “FGirl Island.”
Best of Variety