Mark Pedowitz Will Leave CW Amid Nexstar Acquisition

After spending several years setting the pace of “The Flash” and other hard-racing TV superheroes on the CW network, Mark Pedowitz has reached the end of his current adventure.

The longtime TV executive, who has run the one-time joint venture between CBS and Time Warner since 2011, is leaving the network as Nexstar Media Group prepares to acquire the outlet, which has its roots in two antecedent networks, UPN and The WB, that both catered to younger viewers. Nexstar is expected to close the deal at some point in the third quarter of 2022, but has already begun to run the network’s operations.

Dennis Miller, a longtime TV executive who eventually moved into the world of venture capital, will take the reins as president of CW. Miller has served on Nexstar’s board of directors for the past few years.

“Dennis Miller brings a unique skill set of proven television, media, and technology industry expertise, as well as venture capital experience to the role of President at The CW. His understanding and ability to unlock value from media assets by delivering high-quality, profitable entertainment, will serve the network, its viewers, its partners and CW affiliates around the country extremely well. We are confident his background, experience and relationships will allow Nexstar to deliver on the value of this transaction for our shareholders,” said Perry Sook, Nexstar’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.  “I look forward to working with Dennis and Sean Compton, Nexstar’s President of Networks, to build on the foundation that Mark Pedowitz and his team have established at both the CW Network and the CW App. We sincerely thank Mark for his many years of service to The CW and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

During his tenure, Pedowitz reworked the CW from a female-focused network known for series like “Gossip Girl” and reboots of “90210” and “Melrose Place” to a broader-skewing venue that built a strong lineup of dramas centered around the DC comic-book heroes that are part of one of its owners. Nexstar is taking a 75% stake in the CW, while Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global, the other stakeholders, will each control 12.5% of the venture. Two antecedent media corporations, Time Warner and CBS Corp., launched the CW in 2006 when it became clear that UPN and WB lacked the ability to gain scale or grow profits on their own.

Nexstar is expected to start orienting CW’s operations toward the demands of its primary business –ownership of local stations. For years, CW thrived on a rich vein of revenue gained from the sale of streaming rights to Netflix, but Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount are more concerned these days with deriving their own revenue from streaming subscriptions and advertising sold alongside broadband-distributed programming.

Don’t look for Nexstar to change everything. The network’s name — the “C” was for CBS” and the “W” for Warner — is likely to remain, at least for the time being, according to people familiar with the situation. A branding refresh would likely cost a significant amount ,and the network’s name is already embedded in cable-guide listings and smart-TV selections.

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