First Contact: Stations Get CW Letter

They're off!

The race to align with the new CW network is under way. On Monday night, the network gave notice to more than 200 stations that said it will begin contacting affiliates this week, according to executives familiar with the situation. B&C reported last week that initial contacts were being prepared.

In a letter sent to UPN, WB, and some independent outlets, CBS Corp. Chairman Leslie Moonves and Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer said the two companies, which will jointly own the network, plan to move quickly to evaluate each market and grant affiliations. 

“The CW represents a unique opportunity to partner on a long-term basis with The CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment in the creation of something new and extremely rare -- a major new broadcast television network, one which will provide its local affiliates with popular, proven programming in precisely the demographic categories that will build value with advertisers, viewers and shareholders,” the executives said.

The letter is the first official notice from The CW since the Jan. 24 announcement that the WB and UPN would shutter in September and the two parent companies would team on the new service, seeding it with some shows from both netlets.
of the shuttering caught station owners by surprise and many affiliates have griped that they have not been able to receive information from either network. But with the upfronts coming in May and the new fall season just seven months away, CW executives want to move fast to sign up affiliates.

The letter is the first step in that process. The CW is also planning to send a kit to stations later this week with print and video information on sales and programming. 

While the CW is expected to seek reverse compensation payments from affiliates, the letter did not include any details.