Retrans up, ad sales down at Nexstar


Like many other broadcasters, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook says it looks like core ad spending is finding a bottom, with net revenues down 12% in Q2. Having led the charge for retransmission consent payments, Nexstar reported retrans revenues up 68.1%.

Net revenues decline 12% to $62.2 million. Local was down 12% and national 31.5%, while political fell to only $800K in this year without a federal election, compared to $3.6 million a year ago. But even in the current economic downturn, Nexstar had some gains to trumpet. While some other broadcasters have even seen Internet revenues dip, Nexstar’s e-Media revenues were up 15.4% in Q2 and retransmission consent revenues shot up 68.1%. For the second quarter, broadcast cash flow was down 29% to $20.1 million.

“Nexstar’s second quarter and year-to-date results demonstrate that the Company continues to be an industry leader in revenue performance in good times and bad. Second quarter results are in-line with our operating expectations for the current environment as strong aggregate year-over-year increases in retransmission consent and e-Media revenues, and the recognition of initial management fee revenue, partially mitigated the softness in spot revenue related to weak national and local economies,” said Sook. “Second quarter retransmission consent revenues increased 68.1% to $7.9 million while e-Media revenues rose 15.4% to $3.0 million. In addition to continuing to generate record quarterly revenue from these sources, Nexstar also realized the initial benefits of its agreement with Four Points Media Group LLC as we recorded approximately $0.5 million of management fee revenue.

Sook noted that the automotive sector improved on a sequential basis from Q1, “suggesting to us that we may have tested the bottom in terms of absolute dollar spend.”