WUAB Cleveland in January plans to drop the WB Network as its secondary affiliate in favor of an exclusive affiliation with UPN.
For the time being, that leaves the WB searching for a new outlet in market No. 13. Right now, WUAB runs UPN programming in pattern and the WB out of pattern, but as both networks expand their lineups to four nights a week, a choice between the two had to be made.
“We’ve done an exhaustive study of the two networks, and in the final analysis, we felt the future of WUAB was best served by UPN,” station general manager Thomas Griesdorn said. “We did not take the decision lightly because the future of our TV station could be based on it.”
Top WB execs were flying back from their upfront presentation in New York on Tuesday and could not be reached for comment, but a spokesman said, “I assure you, we will certainly have an affiliate by January 1998.”
“They (the WB) will probably accept an in-pattern clearance on a weaker station,” said Griesdorn, who added that WBNX, “an emerging” independent station in the market, is a strong possibility. WBNX could not be reached.