The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 January 2006

(Somewhat) conventional wisdom

Random thoughts on the new CBS/Time Warner "The CW" network, previously mocked here:

  • Both and are spoken for, with the usual "We're trying to look like a search engine" garbage.

  • It's hard to be sure at this point which local station — KOCB (affiliated with the WB) or KAUT (with UPN) — will emerge with the CW affiliation, though I think there's a slight tilt toward KAUT. Until recently, it would have been a slam-dunk; KAUT had been owned by Viacom, onetime parent (and previously child) of CBS. The sale of KAUT to the New York Times Company (owner of KFOR) in 2005 has thrown this into doubt, though Wikipedia is already asserting that KAUT will get the nod.

  • Whichever station does not get the CW affiliation can probably survive, maybe even thrive, as an independent.

  • The other networks will presumably benefit: there being fewer broadcast-network ad slots available, the price of said slots should rise.

  • Stock in Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns KOCB and a lot of UPN and WB affiliates, dropped almost 16 percent the day of the announcement of the network merger, and Sinclair predicts it will cost them money. (This is, I think, one factor in favor of KAUT getting the CW affiliation: Sinclair may be pissed off enough to refuse to sign affiliation agreements with the CW.)

  • CBS' Les Moonves has already noted that they're not calling it "The WC", and there's a good reason.

  • CBS Corp's press release (duplicated here) lists Oklahoma City incorrectly as a market with an existing CBS Station Group member.

As to the merger itself, it was unexpected, but rather easily explainable: UPN continued to lose money; the WB was profitable, but just barely.

Posted at 6:18 AM to Overmodulation

UPN continued to lose money

That's what they get for cancelling Star Trek Enterprise.

Posted by: McGehee at 6:45 PM on 25 January 2006