Nexstar Finally Reveals Upfront Plans for The CW

The company will hold an event for media buyers on April 25

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Nexstar has finally released its plans for The CW, and it seems advertising’s upfront week presentations may be getting another shakeup.

Today, a representative for The CW confirmed to Adweek that Nexstar would hold an event in New York on April 25 for media buyers. The company plans to showcase The CW, NewsNation, TheHill, Nexstar Digital and over 200 local stations in the presentation.

The CW traditionally holds an event on Thursday during May’s upfront week presentations, closing out the annual advertiser showcase. In terms of its usual event, the company said it would “be in touch soon regarding additional plans for The CW tied to upfront week.”

Though no definitive plans have been announced, with the April event, an in-person upfront week affair showcasing The CW becomes less likely, possibly ending the network’s run in wrapping up the week.

If The CW does exit upfront week presentations, it would be the second major publisher to do so, as Paramount previously announced it was withdrawing from its traditional Wednesday evening time slot at Carnegie Hall in favor of smaller meetings with clients and partners.

The CW’s upfront plans have largely been in the air since Nexstar completed its purchase of 75% ownership interest in the company last October, with the network going through a complete regime change following the acquisition.

Mark Pedowitz, CEO and chairman, exited the company when the deal closed, and other execs, including ad sales chief Rob Tuck, were soon to follow.

Nexstar also shook up its ad sales leadership in January, with Michael Strober, chief revenue officer, confirming to Adweek that he would lead upfront negotiations along with Todd Braverman, evp, head of national sales; Brian Doherty, evp, multiplatform sales for The CW network; and David Diederich, svp, ad sales for NewsNation.

Upfront week schedule getting locked

The upfront week presentations aren’t a stranger to changes. After all, The CW wasn’t always the company closing things out, with NBCUniversal previously showcasing cable outlets on Thursday afternoons.

However, the 2023 upfront has already seen several significant shakeups, including Disney, Fox and TelevisaUnivision all changing venues, and YouTube and Netflix jumping in to claim Wednesday evening time slots following Paramount’s exit.

If The CW does exit upfront week events, the schedule finally comes into focus, with NBCUniversal and Fox holding events on Monday, May 15; TelevisaUnivision and Disney taking their places on Tuesday, May 16; and Warner Bros. Discovery, YouTube and Netflix presenting on Wednesday, May 17.

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