CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment Form New 5th Broadcast Network Each Company to Hold 50% Interest In The CW Television Network



Tribune Broadcasting and CBS Corporation Stations Agree to 10-Year Affiliation

Agreements Covering 48% of the Country



New Television Network to Utilize the Best Programming from

CBS Corporation and Warner Bros.



Dawn Ostroff Is Tapped as President of Entertainment at The New Network;

John Maatta Will Be Chief Operating Officer



The WB and UPN to Cease Operations in September 2006



    NEW YORK, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CBS Corporation and Warner
 Bros. Entertainment today announced their intent to form a new 5th network,
 The CW, to be launched in the fall of 2006. The new broadcasting network will
 be a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation,
 with each company owning 50%.  In an important strategic move that secures
 major market distribution for The CW, it was announced that Tribune
 Broadcasting and the CBS Corporation's UPN affiliates have agreed separately
 to sign 10-year affiliation agreements with the new network.
     The announcement for the new network was made today in New York by Leslie
 Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation and Barry
 Meyer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
 The Tribune Broadcasting affiliation agreements were announced by Dennis
 FitzSimons, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tribune
 Company.
     At the same time, it was announced that CBS Corporation and Warner Bros.
 Entertainment will cease operations of their respective networks -- UPN and
 The WB.  The WB and UPN will continue to broadcast their respective network
 schedules independently until the fall.
     The combination of Tribune's 16 major market stations and the 12 CBS-owned
 UPN major market affiliates give The CW instant coverage in 48% of the
 country.  The remainder of the network's distribution system will be a
 combination of selected current UPN and The WB stations.  The full
 distribution of the new network is expected to exceed 95% of the country.
     Dawn Ostroff, currently President of UPN, will become President of
 Entertainment and John Maatta, currently Chief Operating Officer of The WB,
 will become Chief Operating Officer of The CW.
     "This new network will serve the public with high-quality programming and
 maintain our ongoing commitment to our diverse audience," said Moonves. "It
 will clearly be greater than the sum of its parts, delivering excellent
 demographics to advertisers, and building a strong new affiliate body.
 Additionally, The CW will be able to draw from the creative talent and
 production resources from the top two television production studios in the
 business, while also seeking programming from all sources -- independent
 producers or other studios. With this move, we will be creating a viable
 entity, one well-equipped to compete, thrive and serve all our many publics in
 this multi-channel media universe.  I'd like to thank Dawn Ostroff and all the
 talented people at UPN who have worked so hard.  For many years UPN had
 financial losses, but under CBS's guidance, UPN has been able to effect a
 dramatic creative turnaround in a short period of time."
     "This new network makes sound business and creative sense at every
 level -- for our viewers, advertisers, affiliates and for the shareholders of
 our companies," said Meyer. "Every key constituency of the network will now
 greatly benefit from this combination by being part of a highly rated,
 competitive, 5th broadcast network that is financially sound.  As we form this
 new joint venture, we are also very pleased that in Dawn and John we have a
 management team of great creative vision and business acumen, one that will
 help to guide it successfully forward."
     "This is a very exciting day for Time Warner and its shareholders in the
 creation of what we believe will be a very strong and viable 5th broadcast
 television network," said Jeff Bewkes, President & Chief Operating Officer of
 Time Warner.  "This new network will have all the strategic asset value as an
 outlet for our programming that The WB presented us, but with a much firmer
 and more secure financial present and future.  The credit goes to Barry Meyer,
 who continues to have tremendous vision and extraordinary business acumen as
 the long time leader of Warner Bros. Entertainment, a company that we are
 proud to say continues to be number one in its class."
     "This is a great day for Tribune and its shareholders, and we are pleased
 to be the lead affiliate group of what will be a strong network," said
 FitzSimons.  "We could not have had a better partner than Warner Bros. and
 Barry Meyer since we together launched The WB 11 years ago.  Now, with the
 ownership role of CBS Corporation and the leadership of Leslie Moonves added
 to the mix, Tribune's viewers and advertisers will benefit from an even
 stronger programming lineup."
     The 16 Tribune affiliated stations will include New York, Los Angeles,
 Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Houston, Miami, Denver, St. Louis,
 Portland, Indianapolis, San Diego, Hartford, New Orleans and Albany.  The 12
 CBS Station Group television markets will include Philadelphia, San Francisco,
 Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, West Palm Beach,
 Norfolk, Oklahoma City and Providence.  Together, these top two station groups
 cover the top 13 television markets, 20 of the top 25 television markets and
 have a total coverage area of more than 48% of the country.
     The CW will incorporate The WB's current scheduling model, which consists
 of a 6 night-13 hour primetime lineup including Monday through Friday nights
 from 8-10 (EST/PST); Sundays from 7-10 (EST/PST); Sunday from 5-7 (EST/PST)
 outside of primetime as well as a Monday thru Friday afternoon block from 3-5
 (EST/PST) and a 5-hour Saturday morning animation block.  Together, the
 network will program 30 hours a week over seven days for its affiliated
 stations.
     As the top creative executive, Ostroff will have available a line-up of
 some of the most popular programming that appeals to young adults in the media
 business.  These programming assets range from hit reality series such as
 "America's Next Top Model" and The WB's "Beauty and the Geek," to hit dramas
 like The WB's "Smallville," "Gilmore Girls," "Supernatural," and UPN's
 "Veronica Mars" as well as UPN's hit comedies "Everybody Hates Chris" and
 "Girlfriends" and The WB's hit comedy "Reba."  In addition the WWE's
 "Smackdown," which has been a mainstay at UPN, is expected to play a role in
 the schedule.
     In addition, The CW will also broadcast the schedule of children's
 programming now known as Kids' WB!, a 5-hour original programming block on
 Saturday mornings from 7:00 a.m.-Noon, considered primetime for kids.  Kids'
 WB! has been the broadcast network ratings champion since Fall 2000, capturing
 16 consecutive sweep victories as the Number One Saturday morning kids'
 broadcaster.
     All programming, marketing, scheduling, publicity and research functions
 will report to Ostroff.
     Maatta will be responsible for the network's business operations.  Bill
 Morningstar, The WB's Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales will
 become the head of sales reporting to Maatta.  Other responsibilities that
 will report to Maatta include business affairs, network distribution, legal,
 finance and human resources.
     Meyer added: "This could not have happened without the tremendous energy
 and talent of Bruce Rosenblum, President of Warner Bros. Television Group and
 Nancy Tellem at CBS who worked tirelessly and cohesively together to make this
 new network a reality.  I would also like to thank Dennis FitzSimons, who saw
 the great opportunity this new network presents for the Tribune Company and
 who continues to be one of the great professionals and broadcasters in the
 business today."
     Moonves added: "This idea becomes a reality only when a great station
 group like Tribune comes on board with us and delivers the powerful reach a
 new network requires. With formidable flagship Tribune stations in New York,
 Chicago and Los Angeles, a great CBS line-up of owned and operated UPN
 stations, and strong affiliates from every available market, The CW launches
 as a strong competitor to the Big Four, and that's good for our business, for
 the viewing audience, and for free, over the air broadcasting.  It is also
 good news for our shareholders, who will benefit from a much stronger business
 model, improved economics for our stations and new opportunities for our
 production businesses."
 
     CBS Corporation (NYSE:   CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company with
 constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry,
 as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media
 industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad
 reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an
 extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in
 all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually
 every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS
 and UPN), cable television (Showtime), local television (CBS Television
 Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Television and
 King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS
 Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks),
 digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks) and consumer
 products (CBS Consumer Products). For more information, log on to
 http://www.cbscorporation.com.
 
     Warner Bros. Entertainment, a fully-integrated, broad-based entertainment
 company, is a global leader in the creation, production, distribution,
 licensing and marketing of all forms of entertainment and their related
 businesses. Warner Bros. Entertainment, a Time Warner Company, stands at the
 forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry, from feature films to
 television, home video/DVD, animation, comic books, interactive entertainment
 and games, product and brand licensing, international cinemas and
 broadcasting.
 
     TRIBUNE (NYSE:   TRB) is one of the country's top media companies, operating
 businesses in publishing and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of
 U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television
 stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing,
 Tribune operates 11 leading daily newspapers including the Los Angeles Times,
 Chicago Tribune and Newsday, plus a wide range of targeted publications such
 as Spanish-language Hoy. The company's broadcasting group operates 26
 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and
 the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites
 complement Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's
 nationwide audience.
 
 

SOURCE CBS Corporation
RELATED LINKS
http://www.cbs.com

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

 

PR Newswire Membership

Fill out a PR Newswire membership form or contact us at (888) 776-0942.

Learn about PR Newswire services

Request more information about PR Newswire products and services or call us at (888) 776-0942.