Nexstar Digital, Nexstar Broadcasting Merging Into Single Subsidiary


In an internal consolidation move, Nexstar Media Group has confirmed that on November 1, it will combine its two primary operating subsidiaries, creating a new single operating subsidiary.

This will see the merger of Nexstar Digital and Nexstar Broadcasting, with the latter renamed as Nexstar Inc.

The new operational structure, Nexstar says, “will align the company’s national leadership in local content production with management teams that are broadcasting and digital subject matter experts to maximize the value of Nexstar’s content, national reach and significant consumer digital usage across multiple platforms.”

What’s the impetus behind this move?

Nexstar expects a mid-seven figure expense savings in 2021 as a result of the synergies, efficiencies, and streamlined reporting structure resulting from this realignment, it said on Thursday afternoon.

The move means Nexstar Media Group’s three primary businesses – broadcasting, networks and digital – will now be operating divisions under the Nexstar Inc. umbrella.

  • Timothy C. Busch will serve as President of Broadcasting, overseeing the company’s 197 television stations and related digital multicast signals.
  • Sean Compton will serve as President of Networks, overseeing WGN America, AntennaTV and WGN-AM 720, the News/Talk radio station inherited from Nexstar’s acquisition of Tribune Media.
  • The digital business unit will be led by Karen Brophy, who will assume the role of President of Digital, with responsibility for Nexstar’s 121 local websites, programmatic, data science, social media, group sales and partnerships as well as the ongoing streamlining of the company’s ad tech stack to better align Nexstar with today’s digital environment.

Brophy’s ascention to President of Digital means Nexstar Digital President Gregory Raifman will exit at the conclusion of his contract, which is on March 31, 2021.

All report to Nexstar Media Group President/COO and CFO Tom Carter.

Carter commented, “The operational realignment we are announcing today will accelerate
Nexstar’s growth by leveraging our leading local content and positioning the company to become an even more nimble and competitive organization, thereby creating new value for shareholders. Tim, Sean and Karen are proven, experienced members of the Nexstar Nation and are ideally suited to lead our deep and capable operations, broadcast, content and digital teams.”

He added that inn addition to realizing operating expense efficiencies by centralizing Nexstar operations into a single primary operating entity, “we will strengthen our focus
on distributing the content consumers want most, delivered the way they prefer to consume it, which we believe will drive near- and long-term operating results improvements.”

He added, “Our decision to reorganize the business’ operating structure at this time reflects our view that there remains tremendous upside to be realized by maximizing the value of our assets, content and strong consumer engagement with our digital properties. Through a more streamlined operating and reporting structure as well as a more efficient support structure, we will better monetize our content and broadcast and digital usage while continuing to invest in our business and improve service to viewers and advertisers, all
while driving a mid-seven figure expense savings in 2021.”

In addition, the merger of Nexstar Digital LLC into Nexstar Inc. is estimated to increase the restricted payment capacity under the two outstanding Nexstar Inc. bond issues by approximately $150 million, thereby allowing for more aggressive activity under its recently expanded repurchase authorization and other initiatives to enhance shareholder value, Carter said.