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CBS Moving to Digital Channel in Wilmington, N.C.

CBS has signed an agreement that will move its affiliation in the Wilmington, N.C., market from low-power WILM-LD to a digital channel on WWAY-TV in 2017.

WWAY, owned by Morris Network, will continue to carry ABC on its primary channel. Morris Network also renewed its CBS affiliations for WDEF-TV, Chattanooga, and WCBI-TV, Columbus, Miss. CBS is satisfied with a digital sub-channel because about 90% of the market has a fiber feed to the cable and satellite distributors, and the station’s signal is strong enough to reach the other 10%.

WILM-LD is owned by Capitol Broadcasting, which switched WRAL-TV, its dominant station in Raleigh, N.C., to NBC from CBS last year.

“The change in affiliation in Wilmington is a great deal for Morris Network and for CBS,” said Ray Hopkins, president of network distribution for CBS Corporation. “We are pleased that they recognize the value that being a CBS affiliate brings to their business, and we look forward to serving the viewers we share for years to come.”

“Adding a powerhouse network like CBS to our lineup of networks in Wilmington is a huge win for the station, but more importantly for our viewers,” said Charles Morris, president and CEO of Morris Network. “Expanding our distribution with the #1 network offers us high-quality primetime programming, a strong sports lineup and an aggressive over-the-top partnership with CBS All Access. We look forward to using the combined strength of our resources to expand local news and information to the Wilmington region.”