NextMedia trying to protect two clusters


NextMedia’s filing to make Chapter 11-related changes to its ownership means that two over-sized station clusters are at risk of losing their grandfathered status. The markets are Chicago IL and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville NC. The group also filed earnings projections forward to 2014.

NextMedia is asking for waivers to keep the clusters intact since the group is remaining under the same management and trying to continue operations as they are, and is simply restructuring to keep the business alive to flourish in the future.

Beyond that, there are well over 100 stations are attributed to Chicago, and NextMedia is arguing that at least three of its FMs don’t really compete there – WRXQ-FM Coal City IL, WWYW-FM Dundee IL and WZSR-FM Woodstock IL. If they are not counted, the cluster is kosher.

NextMedia’s other stations attributed to Chicago include WERV-FM Aurora, WCCQ-FM Crest Hill, WWYW-FM Dundee, WJOL-AM/WSSR-FM Joliet, WKRS-AM/WXLC-FM Waukegan, all IL and WLIP-AM/WIIL-FM Kenosha WI.

It is one FM over the limit in geographically far-flung Greenville NC. Its stations there are WQZL-FM Bellhaven, WANG-AM/WSSM-FM Havelock, WQSL-FM/WXQR-FM Jacksonville, WRNS AM-FM Kinston and WERQ-FM Washington, all NC.

Meanwhile, the company posted earnings estimates going forward all the way to 2014. It said it lost $1.8M in 2008 and expects to post a loss of $1.6M for 2009. It’s looking for a positive 2010, with $1.3M profit, followed by net gains of $8.1M in 2011, $12.1M in 2012, $16.2M in 2013 and $20.2M in 2014.