With a stash of acquisitions under its belt, Nexstar Broadcasting Group reported net revenue of $125.8 million in the third quarter, 39.8% higher than the previous third quarter. Local and national core revenue paced the big numbers, as the segment grew 44% in the third quarter-offsetting a 90% drop in political revenues in the quarter.
Acquisitions fueling the quarter include a dozen Newport stations for $285.5 million, along with a smaller one with Newport to acquire KGPE Fresno and KGET-KKEY Bakersfield from Newport Television for $35.4 million. Nexstar and closely aligned Mission Broadcasting also acquired WFFF-WVNY Burlington, a Fox-ABC pair, for $17.1 million.
"Nexstar's record third quarter financial results reflect contributions from recently completed accretive station acquisitions as well as our revenue diversification initiatives and success in generating new local direct advertising," said Perry A. Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar. "Third quarter organic and acquisition related revenue growth in all of our non-political revenue sources, including a 44% rise in core ad revenue, a 124.4% increase in digital media revenue and retransmission fee revenue that was 69.4% higher than the comparable year-ago period, more than offset the impact of an 89.9% year-over-year reduction in political revenue and the loss of last year's third quarter Olympic advertising revenue."
In September, Nexstar and closely aligned Mission Broadcasting agreed to acquire five stations, including a trio from Citadel, for $103.25 million that is expected to close early in 2014.
Upon completing all announced transactions, Nexstar said it will own or provide services to 96 stations reaching approximately 14.6% of all U.S. television households.