CW Affiliation Talks to Begin This Week, Letter Confirms

Feb 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

More than 200 owners and executives of TV stations throughout the country received their first communiqués Tuesday under the slate-blue letterhead of The CW making it official that conversations with potential affiliates of the new network are to commence this week.

The five-paragraph letter was signed by CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves and Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer, the two chief executives behind the plan to merge UPN and The WB into The CW this September.

“Affiliation materials will be sent out this week. At the same time, we will be contacting each company involved in the first wave of affiliation discussions,” the letter said. “We will do what is necessary to move quickly to evaluate each market, as well as to provide each television station that wishes to participate in our evaluation process an opportunity to do so.”

The affiliation materials are expected to be of a marketing nature. Many local station executives have told TelevisionWeek they have reservations about some key components of The CW’s business plan and are anxious to get down to brass tacks so they can plan their immediate future.

“Since our January 24th announcement of The CW’s launch this coming fall, the feedback from all of our constituencies has been terrific. It’s clear that the time is right for a demographically focused, highly targeted programming alternative,” the letter said. “For the potential affiliate, The CW represents a unique opportunity to partner on a long-term basis with The CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment in the creation of something new and extremely rare — a major new broadcast television network, one which will provide its local affiliates with popular, proven programming in precisely the demographic categories that will build value with advertisers, viewers and shareholders.

“Additionally, The CW will have the resources and capabilities to establish a marketing apparatus that will be unsurpassed. The sum of these parts is that The CW will launch as a vibrant new market entrant which will breathe new vitality into each television market nationwide,” the letter said.