Nexstar Broadcasting Group reported first quarter revenue of $203.4 million, a 52% increase over the previous year’s first quarter. Core revenue grew 29.4%, with local advertising up 28.8% and national up 30.9%. Political revenues were down 91% in the quarter, while retransmission revenue grew 89.5% and digital was up 207.7%.
Acquisitions sparked the growth. In January, Nexstar closed on the largest acquisition in company history with the Communications Corporation of America group. This was followed by single station transactions in Phoenix and Las Vegas.
“Nexstar’s strong operating and financial momentum continues in 2015 as reflected by our record first quarter net revenue, BCF, Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow,” said Perry Sook, chairman/president/CEO of Nexstar. “We are well positioned to grow all of our non-political revenue sources throughout 2015 and we expect 2015 to mark the company’s fourth consecutive year of record free cash flow as our platform expansion and revenue diversification efforts have eliminated the cyclicality associated with political advertising.”
On July 1, Nexstar’s KLAF Lafayette, currently the MyNetworkTV affiliate, will relaunch as an NBC affiliate. Market No. 124 has never had its own NBC affiliate, according to Nexstar. It will be operated in conjunction with KADN, Nexstar’s in-market Fox station.
That same day, Nexstar’s KYLE will launch as the MyNetworkTV affiliate in Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas. KYLE will be operated in conjunction with Nexstar’s KWKT, the Fox affiliate in Waco. Previously, there was no stand-alone MyNetworkTV affiliate serving the market and KYLE and KWKT shared MyNetworkTV and Fox affiliations.
“With the creation of the NBC affiliate in Lafayette and the MyNetworkTV affiliate in Waco, we stand to further optimize the value of our platform through our efficient re-allocation of Nexstar’s existing spectrum assets,” said Sook. “These actions will elevate advertising and retransmission consent revenue and create two new duopolies with no incremental M&A costs.”