Tuesday, February 27

TV station owner Nexstar to buy majority stake in CW Network

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Nexstar Media Group, the largest local TV station owner in the United States, said on Monday it will acquire a majority stake in The CW Network, home to popular shows such as “Riverdale,” which based on the popular Archie comics, and superhero show “The Flash.”

Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount, the current co-owners of the TV network, will each retain 12.5% ​​of stake in CW and continue to produce originals, while Nexstar, a company with about 200 broadcast stations will own 75%. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the Wall Street Journal reported in June that Nexstar would assume a significant portion of the TV station’s current losses of over $100 million and is not expected to pay cash. (https://on.wsj .com/3QpVoRX)

Mark Pedowitz, The CW’s top boss, will continue to helm the network, Nexstar said.

For Nexstar, which already is the largest owner of CW affiliates, a controlling stake would represent a significant step in its content aspirations. It has already been investing heavily in a national cable news service called NewsNation.

Paramount, previously ViacomCBS, and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, now spun off and merged with Discovery as Warner Bros Discovery, had been long-time partners in The CW Network since the merger of the UPN and WB networks in 2006.

The stake sell-off comes at a time when media behemoths are doubling down on their streaming services to offset losses from cord-cutting.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)