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. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group, and is a sister station to Fox affiliate WGMB-TV (channel 44) and Class A independent station KZUP-CD (channel 19); Nexstar also operates NBC affiliate WVLA-TV (channel 33) through joint sales and shared services agreements with owner White Knight Broadcasting. The four outlets share studios at 10000 Perkins Road in Baton Rouge; WBRL's transmitter is located near Addis, Louisiana. On cable, the station is seen 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.
Communications Corporation of America brought WB programming to Baton Rouge cable subscribers in February 1, 1999 as WBBR, a cable-only station on Cox Communications channel 10 (WBBR's call sign was used in a fictitious manner). 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). 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 Channel 65 (K65EF). 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-TV, Channel 21 and served as Baton Rouge's first all-news station affiliated with the All News Channel. On November 13, 2002, WTNC-TV 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). 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 network.
On April 24, 2013, ComCorp announced the sale of its entire group, including WGMB and WBRL-CD, to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group. 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.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|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.