CW Boss Mark Pedowitz Talks Discovery-WarnerMedia Deal, Programming Saturdays

Mark Pedowitz, chairman and CEO of The CW, spoke about the upcoming Discovery-WarnerMedia merger during a programming conference call on Tuesday.

Asked how the deal would affect The CW, which is owned in part by Warner Bros., Pedowitz said “At the moment, it does not. I don’t have any answers beyond that…We’re going to adapt, put our heads down, and do our jobs.”

The deal will see Discovery acquire WarnerMedia after the prized entertainment brand is spunoff from AT&T. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is set to run the new combined entity.

Pedowitz also addressed the network’s decision to offer original programming on Saturday nights, adding a two-hour Saturday primetime block to its schedule this fall, programming a full seven nights a week for the first time in its 15-year history.

“We would love to have done it earlier but we were unable to get it done at that point,” he said. “We felt there’s an opportunity here to increase our linear reach which gives our advertisers and affiliates more programming…[Advertisers and affiliates] said this makes sense long term. Everyone was pretty happy about it.”

With the release of the fall 2021 schedule, the network revealed they will kick off their new Saturday night block with back to back episodes of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “World’s Funniest Animals,” rather than scripted fare. Pedowitz said that the plan is to “start with alternative but we’ll go back and forth over time.”

“In 2022, we’ll probably put some scripted programming on but now we’re focused on fourth quarter 2021,” he continued.

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