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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.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.