Nexstar Media’s revenue hit a record $540.3 million—a 111% year-over-year increase—in Q1 2017, the first quarter that included the Media General properties the group acquired in January.
The rise was fueled by a 116% jump in core ad revenue, which hit $280 million, according to the earnings report issued Tuesday. Local ad revenue rose 115% to $202 million; National was up 119% to $77 million.
Retransmission consent revenue rose 138% to $232 million. Digital revenue rose 107% to $46 million.
Nexstar said the figures for the three months ending March 31 included earnings from all Nexstar legacy stations through Jan. 17, when the group formally closed on its Media General purchase. Earnings accrued after Jan. 17 include revenue from Media General properties but eliminate revenue from six stations Nexstar sold through divestiture.
“Nexstar’s record first quarter results highlight our expanded scale, ongoing diversification and unwavering commitment to localism, innovation and growth as we capitalize on the many opportunities to serve viewers and businesses in our local markets,” president and CEO Perry Sook said in a statement.
“Our record first quarter net revenue led to record cash flows before the impact of $47.7 million of one-time transaction expenses, which we disclosed and estimated at $46.0 million on our fourth quarter conference call. A partial quarter’s contribution from the Media General transaction and the continued strength of Nexstar’s legacy operations led to triple digit growth in all of our non-political revenue sources and combined with our expense discipline and focus on managing operations for cash flow, resulted in BCF, Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow growth before transaction expenses of 91.9%, 97.6% and 80.5%, respectively. Importantly, the Media General integration and synergy realization plans are proceeding ahead of schedule, and to date we have harvested approximately 85% of the $81 million of year one synergies we previously identified,” he said.