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Old 05-16-2019, 02:07 AM   #1
TMC
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Question Is The CW in Limbo?

Everybody knows that The CW is a joint-venture of Warner Bros. and CBS Corporation that was born out of the fall of the former UPN and WB networks about 13 years ago. Corporate shakeups behind the two parent companies could change its ownership one way or the other.

Warner Bros. parent, WarnerMedia, is now a subsidiary of AT&T, who is in the process of restructuring the company by dispersing many assets of the former Turner and HBO divisions. WB has recently been given the keys to four of Turner's Networks (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TCM, Boomerang, along with associated production studios) in addition to overseeing The CW.

Meanwhile, over at CBS, It's longtime front-man, Les Moonves, was outed amidst a #MeToo scandal last year. On top of that, the company has called off all searches for a replacement CEO. This is due to speculation and talks about the company remerging with its former parent, Viacom.

In a nutshell, with Warner Bros. now having to look after five networks on top of an AT&T ownership, and CBS looking to reunite with Viacom, what will that mean for The CW? CBS theoretically, doesn't need to continue operating a second broadcast network, in the CW when WarnerMedia is the one company lacking the full control of a broadcast network. CBS-Viacom's future revenue will heavily be dependent on CBS itself and its group of cable networks including Showtime.

And if or when CBS and Viacom remerge, will Viacom buy out Warner's stake? This is probably doubtful considering that Viacom is currently focusing more on its core six brands is more important to them besides trying to fix their own messes. And after the relative after the disaster that was UPN, it must be awfully doubtful that Viacom will revisit broadcast television again aside from CBS. Viacom would have to sell some of its CW stations to Warner as well since having no O&O stations is partially what doomed The WB.

And perhaps, the only other way WarnerMedia could operate a large broadcast TV network is if they acquire one even then it may have to be a Spanish language network like Univision Communications. If Warner can convince the re-merged Viacom to sell their stake in The CW, then Warner could probably take the network out of WB's management, and place it under the oversight of WarnerMedia Entertainment, alongside TBS and HBO. AT&T can more than likely provide enough financial backing for WarnerMedia to manage the CW fully under their united network group with TBS, TNT, truTV, HBO, Cinemax, etc.

Last edited by TMC; 05-29-2019 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:03 AM   #2
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I assume the CW is or was profitable enough to make the joint venture worthwhile but if it gets to the point where it's not, it would dissolve. CBS would operate it or find a new partner for the joint venture, and but I'm not sure if WB would allow branding of CW to continue. (I'd be really surprised if WarnerMedia went full scale into broadcast spectrum like the Univision example you mentioned. If it did it could buy out ION, but I really doubt it. It'd also nullify The CW in any event as well). I don't really think if CBS and Viacom merge back, that it would have a direct impact to the CW. It'd affect Pop as that cable channel would join the family of other numerous Viacom cable channels.

On a side note: apparently, Scripps will the buyer for WPIX (NYC) which covers CW's largest market. Scripps owns 9 other CBS affiliates, so I assume it will keep it's CW affiliation. It has better exposure than WLNY that CBS owns. Interestingly, Scripps owns Katz Broadcasting that owns Bounce, Escape, Laff, Grit, Court TV. There might be a subchannel shuffle in the NYC market as a result. I'd assume content from these networks can be a fallback if The CW ends or the affiliation moves to WLNY.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:12 PM   #3
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I wonder if it'd make sense for CBS and Fox to swap WLNY and WWOR in the New York market, with Fox likely taking cash as well, since CBS would be obtaining the perceived better station in the market.

If CBS owned WWOR, it could move The CW to WWOR and it'd own the affiliate which operates it's half owned network without need of Scripps/WPIX going forward. CBS would likely be successful airing a WCBS operated newscast at 10pm on WWOR. Here in Philly, CBS 3 has a 10pm news on CW57.

If CBS and Viacom merge back, CBS could then relaunch UPN in that place if the CW arrangement ends.

On another note with all these mergers, it's strange that FX will not be related to FOX. FX (FXX, FXM) and ABC will share the same parent company, but I'd guess most viewers of FX would still think it's FOX's cable arm.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:31 PM   #4
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Oh No

Cleveland's CW Affiliate switched hands last year from WBNX to WUAB.

When The CW was on WBNX, it was the 3rd-most watched CW Station in the nation...but going to WUAB might hurt since the station plays a lot of infomercials.
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Old 05-16-2019, 07:24 PM   #5
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I don't watch any of the shows on the CW. But it looks like it has a niche audience with those into superhero/scifi and fantasy. Just googling what shows are on The CW, I see a top story is that Netflix had a deal with The CW but it won't be renewed. It got me thinking that if there is a joint venture, perhaps pair CBS All Access with the Warner Media steaming would be a good one. Of course it won't happen. Warner just got out of Hulu, and the big companies want to operate their own streaming services rather than share, and the idea of joint ventures is becoming less popular. Although Disney and Hearst have long held ESPN (80/20) and A&E Networks (50/50).

I know that I'm canceling CBS All Access this month, right after the finale of The Good Fight, but I guess if we cancel one, add another for a month, it's more efficient than subscribing more long term to a streaming that is part owned by one company, part owned by another company and they have to share revenue.

Speaking of cancellations, I wonder how many people will cancel HBO the next day, right after the Game of Thrones finale.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:46 AM   #6
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According to some "insider" gossip that I just read, once the CBS-Viacom merger is completed, the "CW" network name will be retired in favor of a return of The WB due to name recognition.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMC View Post
According to some "insider" gossip that I just read, once the CBS-Viacom merger is completed, the "CW" network name will be retired in favor of a return of The WB due to name recognition.
I have one question: Do we have to bring back either of UPN or The WB (or just their names)? I'm just never going to like National Amusements ever again because of the CBS/Viacom re-merger. It'll all be just going back to the past. I would hate for The CW network itself to be shut down altogether just because of the re-merger, though.
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