Nexstar dropping Scripps-owned stations as CW affiliates

Nexstar Media Group, which owns The CW network, has announced it won’t renew the affiliate deals in seven markets.

The stations, which are owned by E.W. Scripps, are in Detroit, Miami, Tucson, Arizona, Corpus Christi, Texas, San Luis Obispo, California, Norfolk, Virginia and Lafayette, Louisiana.

Nexstar already owns stations in the Norfolk and Lafayette markets that will become the new affiliates in those cities starting Sept. 1, 2024.

WGNT in Norfolk, and KATC in Lafayette, are still figuring out what their post-CW plans are, according to Scripps. It’s possible the stations could become independents or sign up to carry a diginet’s programming for all or some of the day.

In at least some of the other markets, Nexstar says it already has interest from other station owners to take over The CW there, though it did not specify which.

WMYD in Detroit had just become a CW affiliate in 2023 after WKBD held that status since 2006. WKBD is owned by CBS, which opted to drop CW affiliations after it sold the network to Nexstar in 2022. WKBD had launched a local news operation in 2021 after years without a newsroom in the market and the station became independent after dropping the CW. 

It’s not clear why Nexstar opted to drop Scripps as an affiliate partner, especially since it only owns stations in two of those markets, meaning it will need to find a new home for The CW there. Nexstar may have simply found Scripps unwilling to pay what it wanted for the right to be a CW station and decided it might be able to get a better deal elsewhere in those cities.