In 1994, as part of a large affiliation deal between New World Communications and the Fox network, WAGA-TV severed ties with CBS and took over Fox, taking that network away from WATL. The station would soon affiliate with The WB, and WGNX, initially set to affiliate with said network, would instead affiliate with CBS. WATL was then sold to Qwest Broadcasting, an entity backed by Quincy Jones and the Tribune Company, the then-owners of WGNX and part-owners of The WB.
Tribune bought Qwest, and thus WATL, outright in 2000.
In 2006, when UPN and The WB were merged to form The CW, WATL became a MyNetworkTV affiliate as CBS-owned UPN O&O WUPA would join The CW. That same year, WATL was sold by Tribune to Gannett (now Tegna), making it a sister station to WXIA-TV.