×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tribune gives CW the cold shoulder

Broadcasting unit rebranding affiliates

As the CW preps for what could be its make-or-break season, Tribune Broadcasting has thrown a wrench into the net’s branding efforts.

Over the past few weeks, Tribune’s station group has scrubbed the network’s name off most of its 13 CW affils. Instead, the company, whose stations are CW’s most crucial affils in top markets, is introducing new station identities without the CW moniker and is de-emphasizing the network affiliation on its station websites.

In Houston, Tribune even changed the station’s call letters, from KHCW to KIAH, removing the CW’s name in the process (that station, once known as “CW39,” now just calls itself “Channel 39”). In Dallas, what had been known as “CW33” is now being called “The 33.” Tribune’s Washington station, which had referred to itself as “CW50,” is now “DC50.” 

Move reps the latest salvo from Tribune in what’s become an increasingly strained relationship between the Sam Zell-led company and the CW. Tribune earlier dropped the CW from its San Diego station in favor of Fox (although the CW ultimately benefited by trading up to a VHF outlet there). Tribune was also instrumental in driving CW’s partnership with financier-producer Media Rights Capital to take over the CW’s Sunday-night lineup.

Adding insult to injury for the CW is that Tribune is so far still utilizing the News Corp.-approved logo and brand for its two MyNetworkTV affils, in Seattle and Philadelphia.

As of now, Tribune’s New York flagship, WPIX, is still calling itself “CW11” — at least online — but the CW brand is harder to find on the redesigned websites for L.A.’s KTLA and Chicago’s WGN.

The CW-free rebranding effort comes as Tribune Broadcasting continues to make changes under new prexy Ed Wilson. Decision to rebrand the Trib stations also is reminiscent of News Corp.’s quick move to strip UPN’s name off its affils soon after CBS announced plans to merge UPN with Time Warner’s WB to create CW in early 2006.

More TV

  • THE MASKED SINGER leopard seal

    Seal's Kids Had No Idea He Was Competing on 'The Masked Singer'

    “The Masked Singer” is television’s top secret. The reality competition show goes to great lengths to keep the identities of the celebrity characters under wraps for the audience. In fact, the crew, director, cameramen, judges and even host Nick Cannon are left totally clueless about who is under the mask, just like the viewers. Turns [...]

  • Survivor Island of the Idols Dan

    'Survivor' Boots Contestant Dan Spilo Following Off-Camera Incident

    Hollywood talent manager Dan Spilo is the first “Survivor” contestant to be removed from the series following inappropriate behavior. At the end of the Dec. 11 episode of “Survivor,” host Jeff Probst told players that Spilo would no longer be participarting in the game. “Ok, so I just spoke privately with Dan and I want [...]

  • 'The Masked Singer' Semi Finals: Leopard,

    'The Masked Singer' Reveals the Identities of the Leopard, the Thingamajig

    Spoiler Warning: Do not continue reading unless you’ve watched Wednesday, Dec. 11’s episode of “The Masked Singer.” With the final round allowing just three contestants to participate, two singers were kicked off “The Masked Singer” in Wednesday night’s semi-finals. The Thingamajig and the Leopard were both sent home, revealed to be NBA player Victor Oladipo [...]

  • Ilana Glazer

    TV News Roundup: Ilana Glazer's First Stand Up Special Gets Premiere Date at Amazon

    In today’s TV news roundup, Amazon studios announces a premiere date for Ilana Glazer’s debut standup special and Netflix reveals the premiere dates for multiple original shows.  DATES “Miz & Mrs” will return to USA Network for season 2 on Jan. 29. In the upcoming season, the docuseries will give an exclusive look into the lives [...]

  • Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

    Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Nick Jonas Set Unscripted Sangeet Series at Amazon

    Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas are bringing an unscripted series about an Indian pre-wedding tradition to Amazon. Amazon has greenlit the untitled series, which will follow engaged couples as they prepare for their sangeet. A sangeet takes place the night before a wedding and features friends and family participating in a night of song [...]

  • Nick Braun My Time Your Time

    WeWork Series in Development With 'Succession's' Nicholas Braun Attached to Star

    A television series based on the tumultuous story of WeWork is in the works, Variety has confirmed. Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content have acquired the rights to the upcoming book about the shared workspace company from Wall Street Journal reporters Maureen Farrell and Eliot Brown. Nicholas Braun, who currently plays Cousin Greg on the critically-acclaimed HBO series [...]

  • Boris Epshteyn

    Sinclair Drops Political Commentary Segments From Boris Epshteyn, Ameshia Cross

    Sinclair Broadcast Group has decided to scrap the political commentary segments that have aired across its vast station group since 2017. Boris Epshteyn, former Trump campaign official turned chief political analyst for Sinclair, has been delivering commentary segments that were mandated to run adjacent to local newscasts on all Sinclair stations since the spring of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content