The Wall Street Journal reports that Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount are on the verge of selling 75% of The CW network to Nexstar; the two existing owners would each keep 12.5% of the network.
The Journal reports that the deal could be announced in the coming weeks, and that Nexstar isn’t expected to pay anything for the stake, but instead cover the network’s $100 million in annual losses. Paramount and Warner Bros. will continue to create shows for The CW, with Nexstar acquiring additional content for the channel.
Nexstar, who already is the largest owner of local CW affiliates in the country, could try to keep The CW as the same youth-focused network it has been, or the new owners could attempt to revamp its programming entirely, as Disney did when it purchased the former CBN/Family Channel and eventually changed it into Freeform. Given that The CW has already announced its upcoming fall schedule, no changes are expected until at least the 2023 fall season.
However, The Journal suggests that there is an appetite to move the programming on The CW to skew older, to match the viewers of Nexstar’s affiliates.
Last March, WGN America, which was acquired by Nexstar in 2020, was relaunched as NewsNation. The new name of the channel matches that of their popular news program. Over the last year, the channel has shifted to become a national news network with five hours of weeknight news programming.