The CW Aligns With Raycom In Cleveland

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Starting Monday, fans of Arrow, Jane The Virgin and Supergirl will have a channel adjustment to make if they live in northeast Ohio.


Effective July 16, The CW Network’s programming will air on one of two Raycom Media-owned facilities serving the Cleveland-Akron market.

The station taking on the affiliation is WUAB-TV, which in January 2018 relinquished its spectrum to wireless carriers and is using a digital multicast channel tied to sibling WOIO-19 in Cleveland.

It is a big shift for The CW, while offering little concern of where WUAB’s current MyNetwork TV programming is heading. Of late, WUAB has been branded as “CLE 43” and in midday hours features syndicated fare including Jerry Springer, Maury, The People’s Court, and Judge Mathis. By 5:30pm, news magazines including DailyMail TV, TMZ and Extra air ahead of second-run showings of Modern Family and two episodes of Family Feud.

From 9pm, an edition of WOIO-19’s evening newscast airs, with another at 10pm.

With the coming affiliation of The CW, the 9pm newscast will be dropped, given the 8pm-10pm programming schedule seen by the netlet. As a result, the 10pm newscast will expand from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. WUAB Marketing Director Rob Boenau tells RBR+TVBR that MyNetwork TV programming will continue in late-nights, from 1am-3am.

The affiliation change for WUAB comes at a time when The CW is widening its offerings: Raycom notes that “starting this fall” The CW will broadcast a six-night, Sunday-Friday prime-time schedule. Then, there are special events such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival telecast.

The syndicated fare presently on WUAB will remain on “CW 43,” which is how Raycom intends to rebrand the station.

“The CW has some of the most popular series on television among young adults,” Raycom/Cleveland VP/GM Erik Schrader said.  “Now along with our sister CBS affiliate [WOIO], we will be able to offer both viewers and advertisers a wide range of entertainment options.”

Chris Brooks, The CW’s EVP/Network Distribution, said, “We’re so pleased to partner with WUAB to bring Cleveland some of the most talked-about series on television, from Riverdale and Black Lightning, to our upcoming new series Charmed, All American, and Legacies.”

The loser in the affiliate shuffle is Winston Broadcasting Network‘s WBNX-55, which has been an affiliate of The CW since it was born out of The WB and UPN in fall 2006.

WBNX had reportedly beaten out WUAB for The CW affiliation, as it has been a WB affiliate for the previous nine years.

Without The CW, WBNX is left with three digital networks on its subchannels:

55.2 The Happy Channel
55.3 Movies! TV Network
55.4 Heroes & Icons TV Network

 

WBNX GM Lori Bruch was not immediately available for comment.

WBNX parent Winston Broadcasting Network is a subsidiary of Ernest Angley Ministries. Angley is the pastor and founder of Grace Cathedral, based in Northern Ohio, and was the primary individual involved in a civil foreclosure filed in Summit County, Ohio, in late December.

According to WKYC-3 in Cleveland, Beck Energy Corp. in January 2013 loaned $3.6 million to Winston Broadcasting to pay off a promissory note held by PNC Bank. WBN started making interest-only payments, but failed to pay off the loan as agreed upon by February 2016. Beck granted a 12-month extension, but no payments were made. This led to a default.

Three counts, including mortgage foreclosure, were filed against Angley, aged 96.

Speaking of the switch to WUAB, Raycom’s Brooks said, “We’ve had a long and successful relationship with Raycom in other markets around the country, and we’re very excited to expand that partnership to include Cleveland. We’re looking forward to working together with WUAB this summer and in the years to come.”

As Channel 43, WUAB attracted $32,293,408 in the FCC’s Auction 1000 and relinquished its over-the-air spectrum in January.


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