Nexstar Brings in New Blood, Naming Lee Ann Gliha CFO

Lee Ann Gliha Nexstar CFO
Lee Ann Gliha (Image credit: Nexstar)

Nexstar Media Group said it named Lee Ann Gliha as executive VP and CFO, effective Aug. 9.

Gliha most recently had been managing director at Jefferies LLC, where she oversaw transactions worth more than $90 billion mostly in the tech, media and telecommunication sector.

Gliha takes over as CFO from Thomas E. Carter, who became president and COO in October. Carter had been CFO since 2009.

“Lee Ann is an accomplished finance leader who understands the rapidly evolving media ecosystem and brings extensive industry relationships to her new role at Nexstar,” said Carter. “This background will be invaluable to Nexstar’s senior management team, Board of Directors, and our experienced finance team, and will be instrumental in advancing our strategic objectives with the goal of further enhancing shareholder value.”

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Analyst Steven Cahall of Wells Fargo thought that bringing in Gliha could mark the beginning of a larger executive transition at Nexstar.

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“We think investors have been expecting a changing of the guard at Nexstar and already thought chairman/CEO Perry Sook and CFO/COO Tom Carter would likely head towards retirement in the 2022-23 time frame,” Cahall said in a note Monday. “A transitional period where the current execs remain while the new execs come onboard is ideal in our view, and it looks like that's what's happening with Carter remaining as COO for some interim, transitional period.”

While Gliha is something of an unknown to Nexstar investors, Cahall expects she will get the benefit of the doubt, working for the respected Sook and Carter, who has a good reputation for execution. 

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“Both Sook's and Carter's contracts run until '23 so the transitional period was always coming for Nexstar. In the immediate term we expect a continued focus on cash flow generation and deployment, primarily back to shareholders,” Cahall said. “As the guard changes, the next management team will be charged with gradually pivoting the company given longer-term expectations for limited net retrans cash flow growth and a decline of linear viewership. At a 21% [estimated FCF yield for 2021-22], we think Nexstar has ample time and assets to continue its balance of corporate evolution and shareholder-friendly policies.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.