The CW will be homeless in Atlanta after this Summer.
CBS-owned and operated WUPA TV 69, which has been the official home of CW in Atlanta, will dump the network here as will several other CBS O&Os in several other cities across the country. The station will become independent, or without network programming, this Fall.
CBS owns the TV station but does not own the network anymore. CBS (and Warner Bros. Discovery) sold their interests in the network recently to Nexstar Broadcasting, a TV station group. There is a clause in the deal that CBS could pull CW affiliation from its stations at its convenience, which it now has done. Nexstar owns no stations in Atlanta, the seventh-largest TV market in the U.S., so it must find a station in Atlanta to carry CW programming.
“We look forward to reimagining these stations as independents while leveraging the considerable value of their prime-time real estate in each of the markets, ” said Wendy McMahon, President and Co-Head of CBS News and Stations, in a statement to Deadline.
“It’s an exciting time to look at new opportunities to add local programming, including live sports, and shows from across the Paramount Global brands. We are also grateful to have been part of The CW for 17 memorable years and wish our partners at Nexstar continued success.”
Independence is not anything new to WUPA. It started life in the 80’s as WVEU TV 69, which aired music videos, like a localized MTV. It would pick up syndicated programming to air alongside old Kung Fu movies and televangelist programming. At one point it almost became a CBS TV affiliate in the mid-’90s before Paramount bought it and switched it to a UPN station. When UPN merged with The WB, WUPA became the Atlanta station for shows like Everybody Hates Chris, The Vampire Diaries, The Flash, Supergirl and other CW shows.
As an independent station again, WUPA now has more time for news and sports programming. It, however, has not specified what its now CW-less schedule will be.
CBS, the network, will likely remain with WANF Channel 46, which has been a CBS affiliate since 1994.