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Paramount will pull CW affiliation from 8 stations on Friday

Eight television stations owned by Paramount Global will convert to full-time independent outlets after broadcasting their final prime-time programming block from the CW Network on Thursday.

The conversion is part of a broader planned outline in May by Paramount, months after the company and its broadcast partner, Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), sold a majority stake in the CW Network to Nexstar Media Group.

The move will affect TV stations in some of the country’s biggest media markets, including Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco, Sacramento and Seattle, with Nexstar already finding a new home for the CW Network in nearly all of the affected regions.

The eight stations that will drop CW Network programming at the end of Thursday evening’s prime-time block are:

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  • 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

In addition to converting to independent outlets, two stations — KBCW in San Francisco and WPCW in Pittsburgh — have filed applications with the FCC seeking to change their call letters in order to detach themselves from the CW Network. KBCW is expected to become KPYX, an offshoot of sister-station KPIX (Channel 5, CBS), and will re-brand on air to “PIX Plus,” while WPCW has applied for the call letters WPKD, similar to its sister-station KDKA (Channel 2, CBS). Both changes are expected to happen in early September.

Starting September 1, the CW Network affiliation will move to the following stations:

  • KOMO (Channel 4) in Seattle
  • KRON (Channel 4) in San Francisco
  • KQCA (Channel 58) in Sacramento
  • WPCH (Channel 17) in Atlanta
  • WPHL (Channel 17) in Philadelphia
  • WPNT (Channel 22) in Pittsburgh
  • WTTA (Channel 38) in Tampa

Nexstar has not named a new home for the CW Network in Detroit, though it is widely believed to be headed to WADL (Channel 38), a low-rated, family-owned station that is in the process of being acquired by Mission Broadcasting.

The purchase of WADL requires the approval of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which has seen several petitions filed by public interest groups and others seeking to block the transaction. Opponents say it would give Nexstar too much power to demand higher fees in exchange for the rights to carry WADL, since Nexstar operates all of Mission Broadcasting’s stations, and is expected to do so with WADL should the transaction close.

Even if the purchase continues to be held up, it appears Nexstar and the current owners of WADL already have a deal in place to bring CW Network shows to the station, starting on Friday. A TV schedule reviewed by The Desk shows WADL will begin airing episodes of “Family Law,” a CW Network program, on Friday evening.

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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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