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ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia Exploring Sale For The CW

January 9, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
The Flash

ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia are looking to sell off The CW, according to a new report. THR reports that the broadcast network, which has been the home to the Arrowverse for years as well as shows like The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural, is being shopped by its corporate owners as confirmed by multiple sources.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nexstar, which owns 199 local TV stations as well as NewsNation and The Hill, is one of the potential buyers. NexStar is one of the largest owners of The CW stations. At this point, it isn’t yet clear if ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia plan are planning to do a complete sale or retain minority stakes.

The network was launched in 2006 as a joint venture between CBS and WarnerMedia, who merged UPN and The WB Network into the new singular broadcast network. It traditionally targets and gains revenue from younger audiences and much of its income comes from its international and streaming sales. The network had an output deal with Netflix that lasted for years and provided a lot of income, though that ended in 2019 and Warner Bros. TV and CBS Studios have moved their deals to HBO Max and Paramount+.

CW CEO Mark Pedowitz confirmed the news in a memo to staff on Thursday, the full text of which you can see below:

“To Our Valued CW Team

“I am sure you have seen the recent speculation in the press around The CW, so I wanted to take the opportunity to address this with you directly and share with you what we know.

“First, as many of you are aware, over the past year or so, this transformative time in our industry has led to a series of business activity across media and content companies. Given that environment right now, ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. are exploring strategic opportunities to optimize the value of their joint venture in The CW Network.

“It’s too early to speculate what might happen, but we promise to keep you updated as we learn more.

“So, what does this mean for us right now? It means we must continue to do what we do best, make The CW as successful and vibrant as we have always done. We have a lot of work ahead of us – with more original programming than ever, this season’s expansion to Saturday night, our growing digital and streaming platforms – and we thrive when we come together and build The CW together.”