The CW is finally transitioning to new ownership, as sometime in the third quarter Nexstar Media Group will take 75% ownership over the network, with the previous owners Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery (another company in transition) splitting the remainder of the company with 12.5% ownership each. Mark Pedowitz will remain in his role as chairman and CEO of the CW "with responsibility for day-to-day operations."
While no actual numbers have been released, it looks like Nexstar Media Group is not paying cash for the purchase of the network, instead taking on the CW Network's large amount of debt as the terms of acquirement. As many know, the CW has not been profitable for a while, though Nexstar hopes to make it profitable by 2025 through reducing expenses and shifting strategy.
Deadline reports that in a 15-minute conference call about this announcement, Nexstar COO/president Tom Carter announced that Paramount and Warner Bros Discovery would continue to produce original scripted content for The CW… at least until 2023, when Nexstar would be able to “have the option to extend the partnership.”
Carter also pointed out that he has less interest in creating content for broadcasting and then streaming, focusing instead on more syndicated shows and lower-cost unscripted content (those who have been following the Warner Bros Discovery news may say that this strategy sounds familiar).This shift also includes a shift in targeted audience, as The CW will move away from content directed at youth and focus more on their current viewers, which Carter says averages at age 58.
Rumors about this CW sale have been circling for quite a while and were emphasized when the CW did not renew seasons for a large number of its original series including Legends of Tomorrow and Naomi earlier this year.
Popverse will be following along as this story develops, so keep an eye on the site to stay up to date.