CW Signs 27 More Affiliates, Including Nine Pappas Stations

Mar 16, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The CW announced Thursday it has signed long-term affiliation agreements with 27 stations reaching more than 66 percent of the TV homes in the country.

The new CW stations announced today include nine Pappas stations, eight of them now affiliates of The WB. The Pappas stations include seven WB affiliates: WTWB-TV in Greensboro, N.C. (market No. 47), KFRE-TV in Fresno-Visalia, Calif., (56); KPWB-TV in Des Moines-Ames, Iowa (73); KXVO-TV in Omaha, Neb. (75); cable-only KWBL-TV in Lincoln and Hastings-Kearny, Neb. (103); KREN-TV in Reno, Nev. (112); cable-only KWUB-TV in Yuma-El Centro, Ariz. (170); and cable-only KWPL-TV in North Platte, Neb. (209). Also part of the deal is Pappas’ UPN affiliate WLGA-TV in Columbus, Ga. (127).

Pappas is now the third-largest CW affiliate group, behind founding groups Tribune and CBS, which brought 16 and 12 stations, respectively, to the 50-50 partnership, which will merge The WB and UPN, announced Jan. 24 by Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. and scheduled for launch in September.

Among The WB affiliates that have signed with The CW are: WSWB-TV, owned by KB Prime Media and operated by Pegasus Broadcast Television in Wilkes Barre-Scranton, Pa. (54); Barrington Broadcasting’s WBSF-TV in Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, Mich. (65); Banks Broadcasting’s KWCV-TV in Wichita-Hutchinson, Kan. (67); Block Communications’ cable-only WTO5 in Toledo, Ohio (70); BlueStone TV Holdings’ cable and digital WB4 in Tri-Cities, Tenn.-Va. (91); South Central Communications’ WAZE-TV in Evansville, Ind. (100); Dimension Broadcasting’s KCEB-TV in Tyler-Longview, Texas (111) and KBCA-TV in Alexandria, La. (176); and Rapid Broadcasting’s KWSD-TV in Sioux Falls, S.D. (114) and KWBH-TV in Rapid City, S.D. (177).

UPN-affiliated stations involved in Thursday’s deal included Gray Television’s WKYT-DT and WYMT-DT in Lexington, Ky. (63).

Also picked up: Schurz Communications’ WAGT-DT in Augusta, Ga. (115); Dimension Broadcasting’s KLWB-TV in Lafayette, La. (124); News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting’s KESQ-DT Palm Springs, Calif. (153) and KTVZ-DT in Bend, Ore. (196); and News-Press & Gazette Cable’s WBJO in St. Joseph, Mo. (201).

The CW also picked up affiliates in two areas neither ranked by Nielsen nor considered in clearance totals: Storefront TV’s WSJP-TV San Juan, P.R. (which currently is both a WB and UPN affiliate); and Virgin Blue’s UPN affiliate WCVI-TV in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Harry Pappas, chairman and CEO of Pappas Telecasting Companies, said: “The group of stations represents nearly twice as many as were previously affiliated with UPN and The WB. While the combined ‘best of programs’ fall 2006 launch schedule promises a terrific initial audience-grabbing performance, it is the sustainability of a winning primetime schedule that the Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. alliance well assures. This is not about seizing the moment; this is about becoming genuine partners for decades to come.”

John Maatta, chief operating officer of The CW, said in the announcement that affiliating with The CW is “a perfect fit with [Pappas’] operating philosophy and the set of principles that have guided Harry throughout his career.”