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Nexstar Media to take 75% stake in US broadcast network The CW

Texas-based local TV giant Nexstar Media Group is set to acquire a 75% stake in US broadcast network The CW.

Mark Pedowitz

Current 50/50 owners Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) and Paramount Global will both retain a 12.5% interest in the The CW after the transaction and will continue to produce original scripted programming for network.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, with Mark Pedowitz continuing to oversee day-to-day operations as chairman and CEO. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nexstar chairman and CEO Perry Sook said: “Our acquisition of The CW is strategically and operationally compelling, as it will enable us to leverage our operational experience to improve the network’s performance through our management of this powerful national platform.

“We plan to apply the same strict financial standards to operating The CW as we apply to our other businesses.”

George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS, Paramount Global, added: “The CW has delivered signature programming to its broadcast and digital audiences for 16 years. Together with our partners at Warner Bros and The CW, we have created a welcome home for content that has resonated with viewers on the network and on platforms around the world. This new ownership structure enables us to partner with Nexstar and Warner Bros Discovery on the next chapter of The CW while redeploying capital to other content platforms at Paramount.”

The acquisition has been rumoured for more than eight months, after WBD and Paramount Global revealed in January that the The CW had been put up for sale.

The CW launched in September 2006 after its two predecessors, The WB and UPN, ceased operations. Early on, the network was focused on women aged 18 to 34, but its target audience has broadened in subsequent years to cater equally to men and women.

While The CW is not profitable in and of itself, shows produced for the network have been valuable to both Warner and Paramount, which have generated substantial revenues from selling them to other outlets.

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