Nexstar Swings to Big Profit in Third Quarter

(Image credit: Nexstar)

Nexstar Media Group swung to a profit as acquisitions and political ad spending generated record revenue.

Net income jumped to $190.7.3 million, or $4.08 a share, swinging from a loss of $5.847 million, or 13 cents, a year ago.

Net revenue rose 68.5% to $1.118 billion. The company acquired the Tribune Media stations and the WGN America cable network in September 2019.

Nexstar delivered record third quarter operating results with net revenue, profitability, and cash flow metrics all exceeding consensus expectations, said CEO Perry Sook. “Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, we continue to see month-over-month improvements in our pacing data and our expected record results will reflect the final five weeks of political spending that led up to Election Day.”

Total Television advertising revenue was up 70.8% to $514.3 million, with core ad revenue up 31.6% to $381.9 million and political advertising of $132.4 million, up 1114% from last year.

Distribution fee revenue was up 82.6% to $538.4 million. Digital revenue was down 5% to $55.2 million.

“Encouragingly, while local and national advertisers initially reacted to the pandemic by modifying their spending, during the third quarter, we saw rebounds in several key categories as we generated year-over-year growth in four of our top nine categories with sequential month-over-month improvements in our same-station core advertising revenue performance -- which began in the second quarter -- continuing throughout the third quarter and into the fourth quarter to date,” Sook said.

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.