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Nexstar finds new home for CW Network in Detroit

CW Network shows and live sports will move to WMYD, a former independent station owned by Scripps.

CW Network shows and live sports will move to WMYD, a former independent station owned by Scripps.

The skyline of Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael Tighe via Wikimedia Commons)
The skyline of Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Michael Tighe via Wikimedia Commons)

Nexstar Media Group says it has reached a deal with the E. W. Scripps Company to move its CW Network affiliation to one of Scripps’ independent stations in Detroit.

Starting this week, CW Network shows and live sports will start airing on WMYD (Channel 20), which is co-owned with the market’s ABC affiliate, WXYZ (Channel 7).

The move comes less than two weeks after the CW Network’s former home, WADL (Channel 38), abruptly dropped the networks’ shows and sports after station owner Adell Broadcasting accused Nexstar of refusing to pay it a fee for carriage of the CW Network.

The situation put both sides in an awkward position, as WADL is in the process of being acquired by Mission Broadcasting. All stations licensed to Mission are operated by Nexstar under shared services agreements, and Nexstar is putting up capital that Mission is expected to use to complete the purchase of WADL.

The acquisition has been held up at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for months after public interest groups and pay TV companies objected to the sale. Opponents argue it would give Nexstar too much concentration of power, and would allow Nexstar and Mission to demand a retransmission consent agreement for WADL, which was previously offered to cable and satellite companies under the FCC’s “must carry” regulations,” which do not require payments.

Over the weekend, The Desk reported Nexstar was in the process of finding a new home for the CW Network in Detroit, including the possibility of moving the affiliation to another station in the market. Less than 24 hours after the report was published, Nexstar issued a press release affirming the deal with Scripps for the CW Network affiliation on WMYD. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the move doesn’t appear to have impacted the sale of WADL to Mission, which is still pending.

“We are extremely pleased to be adding [WMYD] as a CW affiliate, especially as we get set to launch ACC men’s and women’s college basketball next month,” Dennis Miller, the president of the CW Network, said in a statement. “[WMYD] has a legacy of service to the community, and it will be a great home in the Detroit metro area for the CW.”

“The CW offers our audiences and advertisers a solid lineup of attractive programming, including popular entertainment and a growing amount of live sports programming,” Mike Murri, the general manager at WXYZ and WMYD, said on Monday.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).