The CW Switching Stations in Chicago

Vampire Diaries fans in Chicago can kiss those sports-related preemptions goodbye.

The CW announced on Monday that starting Sept. 1, the Fox Television-owned WPWR-TV will be the network’s new home in the nation’s third-largest TV market, replacing WGN-TV (which is becoming an independent station).

“We love high-quality, big-budget, first-run prime and we love having more original programming,” Frank Cicha, SVP of Programming of Fox Television Stations, said in a statement. “But most of all, we love moving to The CW the same time as Supergirl.”

WGN’s parent company in turn touted no longer having to bump CW programs for Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Hawks games.

“As an independent television station, we’ll have the opportunity to bring more primetime baseball, basketball and hockey games to Chicago sports fans on weeknights [and] add some popular syndicated programming,” Tribune Broadcasting President of Broadcast Media Larry Wert said in a statement. “Importantly, we’ll also avoid having to move any games off of WGN-TV to accommodate network programming.”

The CW also announced that it had extended its affiliate agreements with WPIX-TV in New York, KTLA in Los Angeles, KDAF in Dallas, WDCW in Washington, DC, KIAH in Houston, WSFL-TV in Miami, KWGN-TV in Denver, KPLR-TV in St. Louis, KRCW-TV in Portland, WCCT-TV in Hartford, WGNT in Norfolk and WNOL-TV in New Orleans.

What do you think of this move, Chicagoans?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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39 Comments
  1. Lillian says:

    Yay, Supernatural fans can rejoice, too!

  2. Guy says:

    Aren’t, like, a LOT of contracts ending this year with different CW affiliates? (I could be wrong about this, but for some reason I thought they signed 10-year contracts back in 2006.) This could get interesting this summer…

  3. Victoria says:

    Yay! Love that I don’t have to wait the next day to watch Flash or Arrow on the app anymore. And my husband can’t stand the Cubs so a win for him too.

  4. Jason says:

    was this the reason Arrow ratings fell bellow 2.0 million for the first time last week?

  5. Stephanie says:

    I am irrationally happy about this! My DVR never picks up the replay and I always get spoiled no matter how hard I try to avoid it.

  6. Jo M says:

    Lifelong Chicagoan WGN viewer. Most games are on the regional sports station CSN. The few times there was a conflict with a CW night-that is what DVRs are for.
    I cringe at “syndication” taking the programming- taking over WPWR’s The Mentalist & L&O blocks? I’ll be watching a lot less WGN.

  7. iHeart says:

    oh good I won’t have to worry about Whose Line being pre-empted this summer

  8. Dea says:

    Kind of thrilled! Given that the CW just aired last Wednesday’s Arrow on a “special night” aka Saturday. Last year, they did that with the Season Finale. I love my Cubs and I love that they are no longer preempting my shows!

  9. Sonny says:

    This is better for WGN because they can air more sports in primetime hours like the Blackhawks games that they usually only put on during the weekends or late night hours when the teams play on the west coast. This will be the first time since The WB ran back in 1994 that WGN can air a lot more sports in primetime.

    WPWR was only airing reruns of syndication programming so I think this could be a win win for them but it will hurt The CW’s ratings locally and nationally losing a big network like WGN.

    • Abe Froman says:

      This really doesn’t change the amount of prime time sports WGN will air. Now they just don’t have to squeeze in the pre-empted CW shows somewhere in their schedule.

    • KatsMom says:

      It won’t hurt the CW nationally. Syndicated programming always aired on WGN’s national feed. The CW shows only aired on the local feed. I don’t think it’ll hurt the ratings locally that much either. Yes, WGN has a bigger name, but everyone’s familiar with the CW now and fans of the shows will follow them to the new channel without a problem. Once upon a time, the FOX channel taking over the contract was the local UPN station. They lost out when WB and UPN merged to become CW, but it’s still a well-known channel locally.

  10. anonymous says:

    Really glad that it never happens here in MA because the CW station here doesn’t air any sports at all. We have a regional network that airs the Bruins and Red Sox games and another one that airs the Celtics games and the Patriots games are on the broadcast networks usually either CBS or Fox so it’s only problem if you watch stuff on Monday or Thursday nights because of Monday Night Football on ABC or Thursday Night Football Nbc Fox usually puts sports on weekends

  11. JenInChicago says:

    I never understood why they partnered with the CW in the first place. I like ‘GN being independent.

  12. HAP says:

    So what happens to all the garbage that was on WPWR as MyNetworkTV?

  13. nickp91 says:

    WGN will be just fine as an independent station, and keeping the emphasis on local news and sports programming

  14. Bob says:

    I see it as WGN/Tribune finding that they can make more money with sports than the CW programming. I wonder if they will go bsck to independent on the national feed.

  15. Mollytanner says:

    Sometimes WGN and WPWR (channels 9 and 50 in old school terms) air games at the same time when the Cubs and Sox and Blackhawks and Bulls all play at the same time. Does that mean there will be zero sports on WPWR?

    • KatsMom says:

      It sounds to me like Channel 50 (I like the old school terms :) ) will only air games if the CW has repeats or if the games otherwise won’t conflict with CW programming. I don’t have anything concrete to back that up though.

  16. Misti says:

    Hallelujah!
    I live halfway in between Chicago and Milwaukee, so I actually get channels from both. I’d already switched all of my recording to the Milwaukee stations because of all the Chicago preemptions, but it’s nice to know I have options again!

  17. mazel tov says:

    I live on the WI side of the state line closer to MKE than to Chicago. My local cable thief (Time Warner) doesn’t carry WPWR so its no big deal for me.

    I don’t get CSN and I’m still burned that TWC decided to drop WTTW from our cable lineup. Their argument was that WTTW and MKE public TV had too much overlapping programming. Nonsense.

  18. Guest says:

    WGN main programming now is news .. 9pm til 10:30 pm weeknights and 4:30am to 10am also I believe 4pm till 6pm weeknights.I mean how much damn news does one need? Don’t forget about their fine afternoon programming. Maury and Bill Cunningham (yuck for both) and CrimeWatch Daily ( another high quality program 😉👎). Almost forgot the midday news from 11am till 1pm. Nice creative programming (sarcasm intended) .So how many hours of news will WGN now air? Don’t really see them adding any syndicated shows. But damn lets become CNN Chicago. More news and infomercials coming Sept 1. Can’t wait for that.

  19. Gary says:

    I don’t like the change a month ago I was petitioning to get WGN back on Dish Network it was a waste of effort. I love the morning news. I’m sure they will see the drop in viewership it has become the rerun station. I will not watch CW programing on the new station.

  20. Ellen Miles says:

    CW in CHicago is Channel 8 – what’s with the switch to Spanish on 12/31/16???
    Not a happy English speaking person here.