WBRL-CD is a low-powered digital television station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana affiliated with The CW network. It is a sister station to WGMB, Baton Rouge's Fox affiliate. It is available to viewers in the south central Louisiana area on channel 21 on broadcast. The station is seen via satellite through DirecTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-verse and on cable Cox Communications. Its studios are co-located with WVLA-TV, WGMB and KZUP-CD at Perkins Rowe Town Center in Baton Rouge, and its transmitter is in Addis, Louisiana.
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 was used in a fictitious mannter). 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 small cable systems in the Greater Baton Rouge Area, including cable providers in LSU, Clinton, Jackson, and Watson, TCI, then Baton Rouge's cable provider, did not carry the station, and it only had a broadcasting range of six miles. TCI, however, did carry WGN irregularly between 1995-1999, 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 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", "The Bill Cunningham Show," "The Jerry Springer Show", "Crazy Talk". The station airs The CW's entire programming lineup with little to no preemptions; likewise, WBRL does not produce nor air any newscasts from its sister stations.
On March 7, 2006, Baton Rouge UPN affiliate, WBXH, announced that they would take affiliation with My Network TV in September. On March 9, 2006 it was announced that WBRL would affiliate with The CW network.
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.