Originally Posted by veedon
If WGN Channel 9 in Chicago were to drop its CW affiliation, where would it get its programming from? Would it go back to being an independent station? Would the programming become similar to what the cable channel WGN America now carries?
I read that WGN America might drop the Cubs games, and WGN Channel 9 in Chicago is also playing hardball in its negotiations with the Cubs because the Cubs are asking for too much money for the broadcast rights.
Tribune Company already dropped the 9pm news, & they did not renew their broadcast agreement with the Cubs, so that won't even be seen on WGN-TV next year. The new Tribune is looking to take WGN-America in a new direction, gradually phasing out anything Chicago on the channel. WGN America also no longer carries the Illinois Lottery (not sure about during the noon - 1pm portion of the midday news, but since there's no 9pm news on WGN America, there's no lottery during that time). Since I don't have satellite, I don't know what's on WGN America, since Tribune doesn't allow WGN America on cable in the Chicago DMA.
As for what will happen to WGN-TV in fall 2016, unless something is worked out to improve programming at the CW, then I expect WGN-TV to go independent, & I believe they can succeed as an independent. They were an independent after Dumont went off the air in 1956, & didn't become a network station again, until the WB was formed in 1995. Too bad they didn't stay around, as I thought they were the better network, & better shows. Just my opinion, I believe WGN-TV wants to be independent, because they won't have to farm out as many sportscasts to WCIU 26.1, in order to commit to network programming. For nights without sportscasts, they can either air off-network syndicated programming, or go back to the days where from 7 - 9pm, show a movie. For CW in fall 2016, we'll have to see if they're still around. If so, Weigel Broadcasting might pick up the network, but I don't see it going on the main channel of WCIU 26.1, since Weigel is very much proud to be Chicago's last locally owned independent (WJYS is also locally owned, but they're brokered, & operate their station in the suburbs, while transmitting from the Sears Tower), & won't give up that status. Since WMEU-CD is the U Too (mostly time-shifted programming), I could see the CW going there & be on the Class A station in HD (right now, it's in 720p HD, but they might bump it to 1080i if it went CW, as the only subchannel on that station is Touchvision on 48.2), & simulcasted on WCIU 26.2 for those who can't get WMEU-CD 48.1. Another reason I don't see the CW going on WCIU 26.1 is because the CW is 1080i (they prefer their stations to have the network in 1080i HD), while WCIU 26.1 is 720p, & with Weigel committed to simulcasting WMEU-CD 48.1 on 26.2, MeTV from WWME-LD 23.1 on 26.3, MeToo from analog WWME-CA 23 on 26.4 (this doesn't make sense at all, but keeping 23 on the air prevents someone like WBBM-TV from trying to grab the only channel that could work as a full market channel & make Chicago an all UHF market for full power stations), & Bounce on 26.5, WCIU can't go to 1080i without the picture looking like crap (sometimes it looks like crap when select HD programming is rather demanding of the bandwidth). If Weigel doesn't pick it up, then the only option would be for WBBM-TV to create a subchannel to their station. Someone on here said that Fox wants nothing to do with CW, though WPWR-TV would be a wise choice there, since except for 7 - 9pm for MNT programming, they're otherwise independent as far as their programming is concerned.