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The CW, WarnerMedia Set Plans for In-Person Upfronts

Mark Pedowitz CW Upfront
CW CEO Mark Pedowtz at a pre-pandemic upfront presentation

The CW and WarnerMedia are planning to return to their old stomping grounds for their 2022-23 upfront presentations.

The CW will be punctuating upfront week on May 19 with a Thursday morning event at the New York City Center in Manhattan. 

As in the pre-pandemic era, The CW’s presentation will feature executives and series stars as the network lays out its linear schedule, multiplatform plans and sales strategy.

WarnerMedia said it will have a hybrid event, with a live event at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden that will have a virtual extension on a custom-built digital platform. (WarnerMedia will be merging with Discovery in a deal expected to close in the second quarter).

Also: The CW Renews ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’, ‘Masters of Illusion’, ‘World’s Funniest Animals’

COVID-19 disrupted the upfronts in 2020 and 2021 as large gatherings were discouraged in order to avoid spreading the virus.

In the past few weeks most network have signals they have in-person plans for this year.

Some are largely returning to familiar haunts. ViacomCBS will be at Carnegie Hall and NBCUniversal will be at Radio City.

Fox and Disney are planning something different. 

Last week, Fox said it was reimagining its upfront presentation plans, including a May 16 event. Instead of holding that event in a theater, Fox will stage its meeting at the Skylight on Vesey in New York, a venue recently used for a Van Gogh exhibition.

Disney Ad Sales also plans an in-person event this year. Disney said its event won’t be held in a large theater, but that it plans to find a space to create a more interactive experience for advertisers and media buyers. ■ 

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.