Nexstar Plucks Reviews Site From Tribune


It appears the broadcast TV company that eventually merged with Tribune Broadcasting also has a desire to monetize the consumer product recommendations company that Tribune Publishing Co. put on the map.

A definitive agreement has been reached that sees Nexstar Inc., a subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, grab BestReviews for $160 million.

It’s a transaction that is “immediately accretive to Nexstar’s operating results,” the nation’s top owner of broadcast TV stations and the WGN America cable TV channel said.

How does the consumer review-focused website make money?

“BestReviews monetizes its content through a revenue share model with its retail partners against all sales generated by BestReviews,” Nexstar explains.

There are more than reviews, however: BestReviews also produces seasonal, lifestyle and
how-to articles with integrated links to retailers distributed across its publisher network, and these could feed broadcast TV station websites while also sparking product review news reports in its newscasts and news magazines.

The volume of content currently authored by BestReviews includes more than 8,000 product categories covering more 40,000 product reviews — on behalf of a network of more than 50 retail partners.

Nexstar President/COO and CFO Tom Carter explains, “The planned accretive acquisition of BestReviews diversifies our digital content portfolio while presenting the company with new and significant revenue channels by leveraging our media content, national reach and significant consumer digital usage across multiple platforms.”

He adds that Nexstar’s digital properties are No. 1 according to Comscore for local news and information, in terms of unique users. As such, “we are ideally positioned to quickly scale BestReviews through increased content syndication and brand awareness.”

Carter also considers BestReviews to be “a fast-growing digital product review company with a profitable and scalable business model at an attractive pro forma EBITDA multiple.”

Nexstar Inc. President of Digital Karen Brophy adds, “The acquisition of BestReviews further strengthens Nexstar’s core product offering by adding new content and gathering expert and user-generated insights that help build consumer confidence in products. This will allow Nexstar to strengthen its focus on distributing content consumers want most.”

The transaction is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance and customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of 2020.