Nexstar Broadcasting reported fourth quarter net revenue of $192.8 million, up 39.5% from the same quarter in the previous year, reflecting the group's acquisition-focused mindset. Local revenue was up 2.8% while national was down 5.3%; core revenue was virtually flat in the quarter.
Nexstar's political advertising, retransmission and digital revenue all grew significantly.
"Nexstar's strong fourth quarter television ad revenue growth was complemented by a 64.6% rise in retransmission fee revenue and a 114.9% increase in digital media revenue," said Perry Sook, Nexstar chairman, president and CEO, "which benefited from organic growth as well as our mid-year accretive acquisitions of a leading digital publishing and agency services platform and the provider of cloud-based CMS, engagement and monetization solutions."
During the fourth quarter of 2014, Nexstar completed the acquisition of the Grant Company stations, and in early 2015 closed on the Communications Corporation of America group. Single station deals were also closed in Phoenix and Las Vegas. "These transactions further diversify our operating base, create new duopoly markets, are financially accretive and, in the case of the Marshall Broadcasting Group, Inc. transaction, fulfill Nexstar's commitment to catalyze and support broadcast station ownership by minority-owned companies, which is also a key FCC initiative," said Sook.
In June, Nexstar sold three stations to Marshall Broadcasting.
Nexstar acquired the programmatic outfit Yashi earlier this month.
"Looking forward, we project that with the addition of the 27 new stations and Yashi, Nexstar will generate pro-forma free cash flow of approximately $450 million during the 2015/2016 cycle," added Sook.
Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides services to 107 stations and related digital multicast signals, reaching 58 markets and approximately 17% of all U.S. television households.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.