Spadaccini, who recently served 20 years in marketing at HBO, was named CMO for The CW in February, five months after Nexstar closed its acquisition for majority ownership of the network from previous co-owners Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount, which each retain minority ownership. The CMO said the network will retain its name, but is in process of a redesign aimed at the something-for-everyone philosophy The CW is pivoting toward, somewhat reminiscent of recent streaming revamps like HBO Max’s Max rebrand.
While the brand has high recognition for teen TV such as “Riverdale,” which aired its series finale earlier this year, and “Supernatural,” it will now focus on “expanding our programming mix across the board, from drama to comedy to unscripted to movies and, very importantly, live sports,” said Spadaccini. In January, The CW secured live broadcast rights for LIV Golf, and this summer it added 50 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) college football and basketball games to its slate.
Spadaccini also said that finding a media agency was one of his first major decisions as CMO, and while the network had previously worked with Omnicom Media Group’s OMD, “given our challenge of repositioning the brand and bringing new viewers to the network, I felt strongly that we needed a fresh start and a more bespoke approach,” he said. “I was looking for an agency that was scrappy and entrepreneurial, just like us, and who had strong data-driven marketing and analytics capabilities.”
Known, which specializes in using AI and predictive algorithmic tools for planning, will dig into the data of each program on The CW’s slate to precisely target ideal audiences that don’t know The CW is now the home of reality series “FBoy Island.” Kasha Cacy, chief media officer at Known, said the agency’s role in media strategy is finding marrying the science and creativity of audience strategy.