Thursday, April 18, 2013

WCCB makes it official: It's the CW's new home

Charlotte’s WCCB (Channel 18) said Thursday it will pick up the CW network this summer, filling the void left when the station lost its 27-year affiliation with Fox.

CW programs – including “90210,” “America's Next Top Model” and “Arrow” – had aired on WJZY (Channel 46), which was purchased by Fox along with sister station WMYT (Channel 55), in an $18 million deal signed in January. Fox has not said yet which of the two stations will carry the network’s shows, which include the top-rated NFL football and “American Idol.”

"We are delighted that we have this opportunity to join such an up and coming network with even more contemporary and creative program series to come," Beverly Bahakel Poston, president of Charlotte-based Bahakel Communications, said in a statement.

WCCB will continue to produce morning and evening news show, a profit center for the station.
But overall ratings and ad sales will likely sag at WCCB because the CW network, weakest of the major broadcast networks, does not carry shows that attract as many viewers. In January, for example, the highest-rated show in Charlotte aside from sports was Fox’s “American Idol,” which pulled about 260,000 total viewers.

By comparison, the highest-rated show on the CW network in Charlotte was the superhero drama “Arrow,” which drew about 29,000 total viewers.

While WCCB loses Panthers games during the season, it has retained the rights to the team’s four pre-season games.