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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
United States
BrandingWBRL CW21 Baton Rouge
SloganDare to Defy
ChannelsDigital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 21 (PSIP)
TranslatorsWGMB-DT 44.2 (45.2 UHF) Baton Rouge
AffiliationsThe CW (2006–present)
OwnerNexstar Media Group
LicenseeNexstar Broadcasting, Inc.
First air dateMarch 30, 1989 (31 years ago) (1989-03-30)
Call sign meaningBaton Rouge, Louisiana
Sister station(s)WGMB-TV, WVLA-TV, KZUP-CD
Former call signsK65EF (1989–1992)
K21DQ (1992–1995)
KANC-LP (1995–2002)
WBRL-CA (2002–2011)
Former affiliationsIndependent (1989–1999)
All News Channel (as WTNC, 1994–2002)
The WB (1999–2006)
Transmitter power10 kW
Height214 m (702 ft)
Facility ID24976
Transmitter coordinates30°19′34.6″N 91°16′36.1″W / 30.326278°N 91.276694°W / 30.326278; -91.276694
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license informationProfile

WBRL-CD, virtual and UHF digital channel 21, is a low-powered, Class A CW-affiliated television station licensed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. Owned by Nexstar Media Group, it is a sister station to Fox affiliate WGMB-TV (channel 44) and Class A independent KZUP-CD (channel 19); Nexstar also operates NBC affiliate WVLA-TV (channel 33) under joint sales and shared services agreements (JSA/SSA) with owner White Knight Broadcasting. The four stations share studios on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge and transmitter facilities near Addis, Louisiana. On cable, WBRL is available on Cox Communications channel 10 in standard definition, and on digital channel 1010 in high definition, as well as on AT&T U-verse channels 21 (SD) and 1021 (HD). The station is also seen via satellite through DirecTV and Dish Network.

In addition to its own digital signal, WBRL-CD is simulcast in standard definition on WGMB's second digital subchannel (UHF channel 45.4 or virtual channel 44.2 via PSIP) from the same transmitter site.


Communications Corporation of America brought WB programming to Baton Rouge cable subscribers on February 1, 1999 as WBBR, a cable-only station on Cox Communications channel 10 (WBBR's call sign was used in a fictitious manner).[1] Previously, WB programming was available on WTVK-11, a low-power station owned by Gulf Atlantic Communications also affiliated with America One. While the station was carried by several smaller cable providers in the greater Baton Rouge area, including those in Clinton, Jackson, and Watson, as well as on LSU's cable system, TCI, then Baton Rouge's cable company, did not carry the station, and it only had a broadcasting range of six miles (9.7 km).[2] TCI, however, did carry WGN irregularly between 1995 and 1999, making WB programming available to subscribers. Eventually, WTVK signed off, and channel 11 is now occupied by KPBN-LP, an America One affiliate.

The station now known as WBRL signed on the air March 30, 1989 as K65EF on channel 65. It was founded by Woody Jenkins of Great Oaks Broadcasting Corporation and initially served as a translator for independent station WBTR, as that station initially had trouble getting picked up on local cable systems in the greater Baton Rouge area. In 1992, it became WTNC-LP, channel 21 and served as Baton Rouge's first all-news station affiliated with the All News Channel. On November 13, 2002, WTNC was purchased by ComCorp with the objective of bringing WBBR/WB programming over-the air. The call sign was changed to WBRL and was initially supposed to be on channel 19 before Communications Corporation decided to put it on channel 21 (sister station KZUP-CD was on channel 19, but is now on channel 20; some station ids from 2002 erroneously branded the station as WB 19 instead of WB 21).[3][4] WBRL was previously used as the call letters to the FM counterpart to WJBO-AM from 1941–1958—this station is now WYNK-FM and is unrelated to WBRL-CD.

On March 7, 2006, Baton Rouge's UPN affiliate, WBXH, announced that they would take affiliation with MyNetworkTV in September. On March 9, 2006 it was announced that WBRL would affiliate with The CW.

In June 2006, owner ComCorp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. ComCorp said in a press release viewers and staff would see no changes at the station.[5][6][7][8]

On April 24, 2013, ComCorp announced the sale of its entire group, including WGMB and WBRL-CD, to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group.[9] The local marketing agreement for WVLA and KZUP-CD (which is retaining ownership with White Knight Broadcasting) is included in the deal. The sale was completed on January 1, 2015.[10]

On December 3, 2018, Nexstar announced it would acquire the assets of Chicago-based Tribune Media for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. The deal—which would make Nexstar the largest television station operator by total number of stations upon its expected closure late in the third quarter of 2019—would give the WBRL/KZUP/WGMB/WVLA virtual quadropoly sister stations in Tribune's legal duopoly of ABC affiliate WGNO and CW affiliate WNOL-TV in New Orleans.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Digital channel[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[21]
21.1 1080i 16:9 WBRL-CA Main WBRL-CD programming / The CW


Syndicated programming on WBRL-CD includes The King of Queens, 2 Broke Girls, Hot in Cleveland, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The Middle, Dish Nation, Celebrity Name Game, The Steve Wilkos Show, and The Jerry Springer Show. The station airs The CW's entire programming lineup with little to no preemptions. Since March 2017, WBRL has reaired the 9 p.m. newscast from WGMB at 10:30 p.m.


  1. ^ A new venture – Local WB affiliate debuts on cable, Baton Rouge Advocate, January 31, 1999
  2. ^ A David facing TV Goliaths *** WTVK thinking big despite low-power pole, Baton Rouge Advocate, January 14, 1996
  3. ^ 2 cable stations go over-the-air, Baton Rouge Advocate, December 15, 2002
  4. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com.
  5. ^ "TV station parents told to file reorganization". pqarchiver.com.
  6. ^ "Web Page Under Construction". www.tvnewsday.com.
  7. ^ "Error 404". www.theind.com.
  8. ^ ":: Baton Rouge Business Report :: WVLA, WGMB getting new owners". businessreport.com.
  9. ^ https://licensing.fcc.gov/cdbs/CDBS_Attachment/getattachment.jsp?appn=101552312&qnum=5040&copynum=1&exhcnum=1
  10. ^ Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Acquisition of Tribune Media Company" (PDF). Nexstar Media Group. December 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Mark K. Miller (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Buying Tribune Media For $6.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  13. ^ Peter White; Dade Hayes (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Confirms $4.1B Tribune Media Acquisition To Become Leading Local TV Station Owner". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
  14. ^ Gerry Smith; Nabila Ahmed; Eric Newcomer (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar to buy WGN owner Tribune Media for $4.1 billion". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Bloomberg News.
  15. ^ Arjun Panchadar; Sonam Rai (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar to buy Tribune Media for $4.1 billion". Reuters.
  16. ^ Jon Lafayette (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar Announces Deal to Buy Tribune for $6.4B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  17. ^ Adam Jacobson (December 3, 2018). "It's Official: Nexstar Takes Tribune In Billion-Dollar Stock Deal". Radio-Television Business Report. Streamline-RBR, Inc.
  18. ^ Harry A. Jessell; Mark K. Miller (December 3, 2018). "Nexstar To Spin Off $1B In Stations". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  19. ^ "Nexstar Media Group Enters into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Tribune Media Company for $6.4 Billion in Accretive Transaction Creating the Nation's Largest Local Television Broadcaster and Local Media Company". Nexstar Media Group. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  20. ^ "Nexstar Media Group Enters Into Definitive Agreement To Acquire Tribune Media Company". Tribune Media. December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  21. ^ "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info.

External links[edit]