The move comes several months after Paramount Global and media partner Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) sold a majority stake in the CW Network to Nexstar Media Group, which is revamping the network’s programming lineup to include more sports and reality-based shows.
Later this year, Paramount intends to drop CW programming from eight CBS-owned stations and convert them into full time independent stations that will lean harder on syndicated programming and local news.
“We look forward to reimagining these stations as independents while leveraging the considerable value of their prime-time real estate in each of the markets,” Wendy McMahon, the president and co-head of CBS News and Stations at Paramount, said in a statement Friday. “It’s an exciting time to look at new opportunities to add local programming, including live sports, and shows from across the Paramount Global brands. We are also grateful to have been part of The CW for 17 memorable years and wish our partners at Nexstar continued success.”
Starting in the fall, these eight CBS-owned CW Network affiliates will convert to full-time independent stations:
- KBCW (Channel 44) in San Francisco
- KMAX (Channel 31) in Sacramento
- KSTW (Channel 11) in Seattle
- WKBD (Channel 50) in Detroit
- WPCW (Channel 19) in Pittsburgh
- WPSG (Channel 57) in Philadelphia
- WTOG (Channel 44) in Tampa
- WUPA (Channel 69) in Atlanta
Paramount and WBD’s predecessor Warner Bros Television formed the CW as a joint venture in 2006 after both companies’ attempts to start a so-called “fifth network” fizzled out. The network combined the highest-rated programs from Paramount’s UPN and the WB Network, which were shut down upon the CW’s launch.
Most of the Paramount stations moving away from the CW have carried the network’s programming since it launched nearly two decades ago.