The CW Officially Has New Owners, So What Is the New Plan for the Network?
It seems like just yesterday we were joking about how The CW never cancels anything and the over-saturation of same-y content. Now, a major reshaping may be on the horizon for the network after its recent cancellations, as it has just been acquired by Nexstar.
The Hollywood Reporter has shared that Warner Bros. TV and Paramount Global’s CBS Studios have sold 75% of their stake in the network, which will leave each of them with a 12.5% stake. Nexstar has set their goal to make The CW turn a profit by 2025, which involves making some changes.
Nexstar COO Tom Carter said on a call, shared via THR, “[…] over time, we will be taking a different approach to our CW programming strategy and will leverage our experience in spending approximately $2 billion a year on programming, attracting and monetizing viewers, and transitioning NewsNation, our national cable news network, from WGN, while maintaining a strict focus on cash flow.”
The plan to make that happen involves more unscripted programming and other budget-friendly content options. There will also be a pivot to creating shows for older demographics, which would reflect CW viewers. “As many of you are aware, The CW is currently the lowest-rated broadcast network, which we believe largely reflects the fact that its programming is targeted for an 18-to-34 audience demographic, while the average age of the CW broadcast viewer is 58 years.” Not all the original programming will be gone, but it does mark a serious change from what has been airing thus far.
Of course, this all brings to mind the WB/UPN merger that created The CW in the first place and led to a significant loss of diversity on television, which has only recently been slightly course corrected on the network. Sadly, most of those shows are gone.
What exactly is Nexstar anyway? Well, it is currently the largest television station owner in the United States and owns a lot of media companies, including The Hill, which they brought last year. They are a massive public company, which means they are in the business of making money.
It is hard to know what this new vision will look like entirely, but my biggest fear is that it will be safe and corny. Whenever I look at Gotham Knights with Bruce Wayne’s fake white son, it doesn’t inspire confidence.
(via The Hollywood Reporter, featured image: The CW)
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