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Nexstar picks former Turner station for CW Network in Atlanta

WPCH, a station once owned by CNN founder Ted Turner, will start offering CW Network shows and sports, starting September 1.

WPCH, a station once owned by CNN founder Ted Turner, will start offering CW Network shows and sports, starting September 1.

Nexstar Media Group has selected Ted Turner’s first television station to be its new home for CW Network programming in Atlanta.

Starting September 1, WPCH (Channel 17) will offer the CW Network’s slate of prime-time shows and live sports events, including LIV Golf, American Athletic Conference (AAC) sports and other programming.

The deal comes as Nexstar is set to lose CW Network affiliates in eight markets, including Atlanta, after Paramount Global announced it was converting its eight-owned stations in those areas to full-time independent outlets.

WUPA (Channel 69) is one of the eight stations affected by Paramount’s move, and will begin offering a slate of syndicated shows and some local newscasts that are produced by CBS-owned KTVT (Channel 11) in Dallas. (Paramount is the parent company of CBS.)

The deal involving WPCH is incorporated in a broader agreement between Nexstar and the station’s parent company, Gray Television, that will also see Gray-owned TV stations offer CW Network programming in nearly five dozen other metropolitan areas. Around a dozen of those stations carry CW Network as their main affiliate, while three carry the national feed CW Plus and the rest offer CW Network programming on a digital sub-channel of another network affiliate.

“Gray Television has been a great partner of the CW from the beginning,” Dennis Miller, the president of the CW Network, said in a statement on Wednesday. “We look forward to sharing more success together as we transform and grow the network and add WPCH to the CW’s expanding portfolio of affiliate partners. Atlanta is an important market for the CW, especially with ACC football and basketball debuting this Fall and NASCAR’s Xfinity Series racing coming in 2025.”

Of the eight markets losing CW Network affiliation on Paramount-owned stations, Nexstar has announced new affiliation agreements with six other stations. Nexstar-owned stations in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Tampa will offer CW Network shows from September 1, while the company’s long-time broadcast partner Mission Broadcasting is currently in the process of acquiring WADL (Channel 38) in Detroit for CW Network shows. In Sacramento, CW Network programming will move to KQCA (Channel 58), a station owned by Hearst Television.

Nexstar has not announced new affiliates in Seattle and Pittsburgh. Last week, The Desk reported the company has chosen Sinclair-owned WPNT (Channel 22) as its new affiliate in Pittsburgh, and is working to finalize a deal with a new affiliate in Seattle. An announcement on both those stations is expected later this week.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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