The CW: Nexstar Media Group Reportedly Nearing Majority Stake Deal

For some reason, it seems fitting in an odd way that the news arrived only hours before the eighth season finale of The Flash, now the only remaining Arrowverse series and a long-running foundation of the network that might be facing a final run when its ninth season rolls around. Earlier, The Wall Street Journal reported that local television station owner Nexstar Media Group was close to a deal to acquire 75% of The CW, with current owners Paramount Global & Warner Bros. Discovery each retaining 12.5% ownership stakes. While representatives from all parties involved are remaining silent at the moment, the WSJ also reports that an official pact (ahead of a formal deal) could be reached over the course of the next few weeks (with Nexstar reportedly assuming a majority of the network's current losses, which could amount to $100M+). If acquired, Nexstar will be looking for programming content from outside producers, while Paramount Global & Warner Bros. Discovery will continue developing content for the network.

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Arrowverse crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths" (Image: The CW)

Here are two excerpts from January 2022 "The CW CEO Confirms WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS "Exploring" Network Options," where we shared out thoughts/concerns on what having Nexstar could mean for The CW's future:

Is the Arrowverse about to have a new owner? Based on reporting from The Wall Street Journal, that would seem to be the case as corporate owners ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia are shopping the broadcast network. And from the sounds of things, they have a major potential buyer in Nexstar, which makes sense considering the major player in the local TV scene owns 199 local TV stations and is one of the largest owners of CW-affiliated stations (along with cable channel NewsNation and The Hill). For those of you not familiar with Nexstar and NewsNation, the channel was in the headlines in March 2021 over staff departures and accusations that the news coverage was moving towards a more conservative, right-wing slant.

So now the speculation, with two areas of concern. First, Nexstar's reported move towards more conservative reporting with NewsNation does exactly make me feel all warm-n-fuzzy when it comes to the programming The CW might go with moving forward. Owned by a company with that many stations under its belt and where large chunks of those stations are located could be very telling, and I can't shake this feeling that we'll be getting less Naomi and Charmed and a ton more game shows, reality, shows, and "wholesome, family-friendly programming" (a vomited a little in my mouth just writing that).

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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