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NAB 2016: What's The Deal With CW/Tribune?

Complete Coverage: NAB Show 2016

The CW network brass met with its affiliates on Wednesday, and afterward CW president Mark Pedowitz declared that the network intends to have "full distribution in the fall."

That wouldn't seem very newsworthy except that since January Tribune Broadcasting and The CW (owned by CBS and Warner Bros.) have been trying to renegotiate a new contract. Thirteen CW stations are owned by Tribune, including six of the biggest, in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Earlier this year, the CW floated the idea of streaming its content in some cities, which some saw as a tactic to influence Tribune's negotiating posture.

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Pedowitz made no direct comment on the CW-Tribune situation, except for his "full distribution" comment and one other that seemed—though still vague—more hopeful that a deal will occur. "We are broadcasters," he said, "and we intend to stay as broadcasters."

Larry Wert, Tribune's president of broadcast media, was at the meeting too but wouldn't comment to the press. "About that?" he asked, assuming the questions to come. "No!"

Related: Tribune Won’t Get Orange County Register

Affiliates otherwise saw highlights of some CW pilots, which include Riverdale based on the Archie comics. The CW is also planning a still untitled sci-fi drama centered on the first-ever humans to inhabit Mars.

Pedowitz said affiliates give the CW credit for working to age-up its viewers, once mainly teens, to a more young adult skew.