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Nexstar Media Group is in negotations with ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia to acquire a sizable stake in the CW Network, the broadcast network born in 2006 out of the union of the WB and UPN.

A representative for Nexstar declined to comment. CBS and WarnerMedia could not immediately be reached for comment late Wednesday. News of the talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal. 

Nexstar, based in Irving, Texas, is the nation’s largest owner of TV stations and the core affiliate group for the CW in major markets such as New York and Los Angeles. Nexstar’s pursuit of CW is a natural move for the company that has as many stations as CBS, NBC and ABC have as affiliates, although not all of Nexstar’s 199 full-power TV stations are affiliated with CW.

A source close the situation said deal talks were in part the result of the “frothy” market conditions for media M&A. In an everyones-talking-to-everyone, a new configuration for the CW would not be a surprise. ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia have co-owned the network since early 2006, when the WB and UPN were merged after nearly a dozen years on the air into a single entity, so named for the “C” in CBS and “W” in Warner Bros.

The deal that is coming together would have Nexstar take the majority interest in the network while ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia would retain minority stakes and commit to providing programming for the network. The CW’s primary reason for existing over the past decade has been to serve as a launch platform for content produced by ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia, seeding shows that make money through international sales and syndication rights.

CW has been instrumental in Warner Bros.’ efforts to bring its DC Comics characters to life for a new generation with a host of superhero and fantasy content such as “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Batman,” “Superman and Lois,” “The Flash,” “Arrow.”

The network, headed by chairman Mark Pedowitz, has made strides in expanding into digital content and in managing the delicate balancing act of setting a content strategy that worked for the studio parent companies and for the network’s affiliate stations. But on a pure viewership measure, CW has never reached viewership or reach parity with its Big Four competitors.

Nexstar has been closely watched by Wall Street and media observers for its long-term strategy especially on a national level. After a nearly 20-year TV station buying spree, the group is large and formidable with multiple outlets in key major markets. Nexstar also owns the cable channel NewsNation, which was formerly WGN America.

(Pictured: CW’s “Riverdale”)