Media General Merger Drives Nexstar Q2 Rev Up 139%

A rise in core advertising and retrans money lead to a record $626 million quarter

In the first earnings report fully reflecting the impact of its Media General acquisition, Nexstar Media Group Tuesday reported hitting a record $626.1 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2017.

That figure represents a 139% increase over the pre-merger Q2 2016. The group’s $4.6 billion Media General acquisition, which closed in January, increased Nexstar’s broadcast portfolio by approximately two thirds to 170 stations, and more than doubled the company’s audience reach, the company said.

Related: Nexstar, Sinclair Agree to Share Spectrum During ATSC 3.0 Transition

Q2 2017 revenue included:

  • $329 million in core revenue, up $133 million year-over-year
  • $253 million in retransmission fee revenue, up from $98 million
  • $64 million in digital revenue, up from $25 million
  • Political revenue of $6.4 million, down from $11.2 million

“Nexstar’s operating and financial growth momentum as well as our focus on shareholder returns was highlighted again in the second quarter as we delivered another period of record results with top line, profitability, and cash flow metrics exceeding consensus expectations,” president and CEO Perry Sook said in a statement.

“Our first full quarter of operations including the Media General assets combined with organic core advertising, distribution and digital media revenue growth and our focus on managing operations for current and future cash flow growth, resulted in all of our non-political revenue sources posting triple digit second quarter increases. Notably, 51% of our second quarter gross revenue was derived from non-core advertising revenue sources. The ongoing shift of our revenue mix reflects our long-term initiatives to build scale and diversify revenue through our focus on high growth retransmission and digital opportunities.

"Second quarter revenue growth combined with our expense discipline and focus on managing operations for cash flow, also drove triple digit BCF, Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow growth (excluding transaction expenses and divestiture-related taxes and inclusive of a $13 million gain related to the sale of a former Media General facility) of 119.8%, 125.7% and 186.6%, respectively,” he said.