Mark Pedowitz Exits The CW Amid Nexstar Media Group Takeover

Pedowitz Leaving CW President

Mark Pedowitz’s reign at The CW has come to an end after 11-plus years, as Nexstar Media Group officially takes over the netlet.

Pedowitz was named president of The CW in May 2011, succeeding Dawn Ostroff. He added the titles of CEO and Chairman in January 2020.

Dennis Miller, a TV executive-turned-venture capitalist who in recent years has served on Nexstar’s board of directors, will take over as CW president effective immediately.

Reacting to the switcheroo, prolific producer Greg Berlanti — who over the years has shepherded a show or 20 for The CW — told Deadline, ”I’m definitely a little shocked, and I’m definitely sad. But Mark and I have worked together for 20 years at ABC and [at The CW], and I’m sure we will continue to find other ways to work together.”

Pedowitz’s accomplishments at The CW include but are not limited to the expansion to Sunday and then Saturday programming; the rollout of summertime originals; and of course the decade-ago launch of what would soon blossom into the Arrowverse, a multi-series slate of crossover-happy superhero fare.

(Personal aside, Mark is also one of the very nicest and most genuine guys in the business. I cannot recall a time he didn’t make a point to say hello at an industry event, even when being hurried from Point A to Point B at Upfronts.)

Local-TV giant Nexstar Media Group announced in August that it would acquire a 75 percent ownership stake in the broadcast network. The CW’s current co-owners, Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global, will each retain a 12.5 percent minority stake, allowing both companies to continue producing original scripted content for The CW.

At the time, it was indicated that Pedowitz would stay put in his leadership role. But it was also revealed by Nexstar president and CEO Tom Carter that the plan to make The CW profitable revolved around content that appealed to an audience older than the outlet had previously targeted.

“The CW is currently the lowest-rated broadcast network, which we believe largely reflects the fact that its programming is targeted for an 18-to-34 audience demographic, while the average age of the CW broadcast viewer is 58 years,” Carter said in August. “Over time, we’ll be taking a different approach to our CW programming strategy.” That approach also involves adding more cost-effective unscripted and “high-quality syndicated programming” to its lineup, which Carter noted was “a departure from the prior predominant focus on expensive, original scripted content.”