Nexstar Sticks With Sook For Four More Years


The man who build Nexstar Media Group from scratch some 25 years ago and into an entity that seeks to merge with Tribune Broadcasting isn’t going anywhere until at least 2023.

That’s thanks to a new deal inked between Nexstar and Perry Sook.

Nexstar’s Irving, Tex.-based board of directors gave the green light to extends Sook’s employment agreement with the company through February 28, 2023.

Geoff Armstrong, Nexstar’s Compensation Committee Chairman, said, “Perry’s leadership, innovation and determination has enabled Nexstar to build an unrivaled record in the local media industry for operating and financial growth and the enhancement of shareholder value. Throughout his tenure, Perry has flawlessly executed the company’s long-term strategy that combines scale-building acquisitions with the implementation of new standards and innovative technologies that together have positioned the Company to compete more effectively in a changing media environment and participate in the growth of the digital economy.”

Upon the anticipated completion of its acquisition of Tribune Media, Nexstar will become the largest local television group in the U.S. — something Sinclair Broadcast Group had been on track to do until its bid for Tribune disintegrated in August 2018.

At present, Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 174 full power television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets, or “nearly” 39% of all U.S. television households.

This puts Nexstar just below the national limit under current FCC rules.

Sook founded Nexstar in 1996 and has grown rapidly since its November 2003 IPO, with revenue rising from approximately $214 million at the time of the IPO to approximately $2.7 billion in 2018.

Details on Sook’s compensation were not revealed; a forthcoming SEC filing is expected to detail this information.

However, it is expected to total more than $19 million, based on what he’s earned recently.

According to data, Sook in fiscal 2017 saw a salary of $1.5 million, and earned a $9 million bonus. Further, $8,804,905 was awarded as stock, while $13,605 came from other types of compensation. This puts Sook’s total earnings in fiscal 2017 at $19,318,510.

That said, Nexstar’s stock has grown from $57.20 in May 2017 to new heights seen in recent days on Wall Street. As of 11:38am Eastern on Wednesday, NXST was priced at $82.94, up 16 cents. Nexstar shares have a 1-year target estimate of $106.36.