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The CW Makes Some Deals

By RD Heldenfels Published: March 1, 2006

I was pretty sure that the new CW network (being built from the merger of UPN and The WB) would have gone to Channel 43 here, since the UPN affiliate is jointly owned with the local CBS affiliate and the cross-promotion possibilities seemed strong. I was, not for the first time, wrong. Here's the announcement of some CW affiliation deals:


The CW announced today that it has signed exclusive, long-term affiliation agreements with stations in Cleveland, Orlando, Charlotte, Louisville and South Bend.  The combination of these five newly signed affiliates, plus the previously announced affiliation agreements with Tribune Broadcasting's 16 major market WB stations and CBS Corporation's 11 UPN major market affiliates, brings America's fifth broadcast network's national coverage to almost 52% of the country, including 18 of the Top 20 markets and 25 of the Top 30.


The newly signed affiliates are:


* WBNX-TV Cleveland, OH, owned by Winston Broadcasting Network.


* WKCF-TV Orlando, FL, owned by EMMIS Communications.


* WJZY-TV Charlotte, NC, owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.


* WBKI-TV Louisville, KY, owned by Cascade Broadcasting Group, LLC.


* WMWB-TV South Bend, IN, owned by Weigel Broadcasting Company.


These stations are in the 16th, 20th, 27th, 50th and 87th largest markets in the country, respectively, and represent 4.32% of total U.S. TV households.  WBNX-Cleveland, WKCF-Orlando, WBKI-Louisville and WMWB-South Bend are currently affiliated with The WB; WJZY-Charlotte is currently affiliated with UPN.


"We are thrilled to announce these five long-term affiliation agreements with these leading broadcasting companies," said John Maatta, Chief Operating Officer, The CW.  "They are the first independently-owned stations to join The CW, and they represent the first wave of new affiliations, with many more to come in the weeks ahead.  These groups represent tremendous local station success stories, a blend of WB and UPN affiliates whose ratings and station value has increased tremendously due to their network affiliation over the past decade."


"Each of our new partners recognizes the enormous value of our new network, which will bring audiences and advertisers proven, popular programming that will be supported by superlative, multi-media marketing efforts -- all under the auspices of two of the most accomplished media companies in the world," continued Maatta.  "We've been impressed and gratified by the strong response from advertisers, suppliers in the creative community and potential affiliates in the five weeks since we announced The CW's formation.  These newly signed long-term affiliation deals reflect the excitement and enthusiasm we all share about the launch and growth of our new highly-competitive fifth network and the value it will bring to all of our constituents."


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