Nexstar to buy The CW

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Nexstar Media Group has reached a deal to buy most of The CW television network from Paramount Global.

The company, which owns local TV stations across the U.S. as well as national news network NewsNation, will get 75% of the network, with Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount each getting 12.5%.

Nexstar is already the largest owner of CW-affiliated stations, so this would in effect make all 37 of those stations O&Os.

Mark Pedowitz will continue to lead The CW after the deal closes in the third quarter of 2022.

Nexstar won’t be outlaying any cash in the transaction but will assume The CW’s debt, though it’s not immediately clear how much that is.

Nexstar says it’s looking to turn around the network and make it more appealing to a broader audience while also making decisions about operating costs, with the goal of making it profitable by 2025.

Once the deal closes, Paramount and WBD will continue to produce programming for the network through the 2022-2023 season. Beyond that, there is an option built-in to extend deals, but Nexstar appears to be positioning itself to explore less pricey programming options such as unscripted offerings.

The CW offers affiliates 13 hours of programming during primetime on six days a week, but most stations fill the rest of the schedule with syndicated offerings.