Nexstar struts its stuff


If dealing with potential buyers of his company distracted Perry Sook in any way from operations, it certainly didn't show in the Q2 results that Nexstar Broadcasting Group posted. Revenues were up 6.5% to 68.7 million, or 1.8% on a same station basis. In his quarterly conference call, CEO Sook said Nexstar's outperformance of the TV industry should continue in Q3 and Q4. For Q3 the company is predicting that revenues will be up 0.6-2.2%. Pacings are up in the mid single digits for local, but "flattish" for national.

Sook didn't say a lot about the recent decision to take Nexstar off the auction block, except to note that he was more concerned about potential buyers' ability to get financing in the current credit clamp-down for large deals than about pricing. "We are financial animals," Sook declared, stating his intention to get value for his stockholders in any situation, so now it is back to focusing on operations and growth until the markets improve.

Just what will Nexstar do in the interim? CFO Matt Devine said the company will consider "smart, accretive acquisitions," reconsider some divestitures of non-strategic stations (which had been put on hold while the entire company was up for sale) and continue to operate the portfolio and grow the business.