The current owners of The CW, Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global, will each retain a 12.5% ownership interest in the network and continue to produce original scripted content that will air on the network.
How much Nexstar paid was not disclosed.
Mark Pedowitz will continue to serve as chairman and CEO.
Nexstar is the largest owner of CW affiliates with 37 stations and CW Plus virtual stations carrying the network’s programming. Nexstar said owning The CW will enable it to expand its content business beyond news and obtain more access to national advertising and the on-demand market.
The network has been known for programming aimed at younger viewers between DC-character-driven shows for young men and high-school-aimed shows for young women, like Riverdale and Vampire Diaries.
The CW was one of the first programmers to embrace convergence between its broadcast and digital businesses, making shows available to its younger viewers and selling advertising in multiplatform packages.
Nexstar said it is aiming to boost The CW’s ratings and is expected to make it more compatible with its stations’ local newscasts.
“Our acquisition of The CW is strategically and operationally compelling, as it will enable us to leverage our operational experience to improve the network’s performance through our management of this powerful national platform,” Nexstar CEO Perry Sook said in a statement. “We plan to apply the same strict financial standards to operating The CW as we apply to our other businesses.” ■
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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.