BrandingCW 21
AffiliationsThe CW (2006–present)
First air date
March 30, 1989 (33 years ago) (1989-03-30)
Former call signs
K65EF (1989–1992)
K21DQ (1992–1995)
KANC-LP (1995–2002)
WBRL-CA (2002–2011)
Independent (1989–1999)
All News Channel (as WTNC, 1994–2002)
The WB (1999–2006)
Call sign meaning
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Technical information
Licensing authority
Facility ID24976
ERP10 kW
HAAT214 m (702 ft)
Transmitter coordinates30°19′34.6″N 91°16′36.1″W / 30.326278°N 91.276694°W / 30.326278; -91.276694
Translator(s)WGMB-DT 44.2 (24.2 UHF) Baton Rouge
Public license information

WBRL-CD (channel 21) is a low-power, Class A television station in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States, airing programming from The CW. It is owned and operated by network majority owner Nexstar Media Group alongside Fox affiliate WGMB-TV (channel 44) and independent station KZUP-CD (channel 19); Nexstar also provides certain services to NBC affiliate WVLA-TV (channel 33) under joint sales and shared services agreements (JSA/SSA) with White Knight Broadcasting. The stations share studios on Perkins Road in Baton Rouge, while WBRL-CD's transmitter is located near Addis, Louisiana.

In addition to its own digital signal, WBRL-CD is simulcast in 720p high definition on WGMB's second digital subchannel (44.2) 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 became 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 KANC-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 to 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] On July 1, 2020, WBRL relocated its digital channel from channel 21 to channel 20 to prevent co-interference from WHNO in New Orleans, sharing channel space with its sister station, KZUP. On November 1, 2021, WBRL's simulcast on WGMB-DT2 was upgraded to 720p high definition.


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


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


  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[bare URL]
  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.