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No cash is exchanging hands as Nexstar Media Group acquires a 75% controlling stake in The CW Network. In a conference call with investors and Wall Street analysts Monday morning, Nexstar EVP-CFO Lee Ann Gliha said it is “no secret” that The CW is not profitable and Nexstar expects to change that by 2025 after investing “a low nine-figure amount” to turn the network around.
No regulatory approval is needed for the deal, so Nexstar is immediately assuming corporate oversight of The CW. Formal closing is anticipated in the current third quarter.
“Nexstar’s ownership of The CW solidifies and creates better revenue opportunities for Nexstar’s CW stations, as well as other CW affiliates,” said Nexstar Chairman-CEO Perry Sook. He emphasized later in the call that Nexstar will take a “broadcast-first” approach to CW operations, rather than the current consideration of post-broadcast content monetization under the current studio owners Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global. Both will continue to produce content for The CW and remain as minority owners (12.5% each). But the network’s approach is changing.
“As you’d expect from Nexstar, our first goal is to improve the profitability of The CW and more fully realize its potential as a broad-reach entertainment provider and marketing solutions platform,” said Nexstar President-COO Tom Carter.
“In the near term, Nexstar can leverage its infrastructure to reduce costs in areas such as corporate overhead, digital infrastructure, advertising sales and content and programming acquisition at The CW. While reducing costs is one path to improving