Political Ads Help Boost Nexstar With Record Second Quarter Revenue of $1.25 Billion

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Nexstar, the largest TV channel group, received a boost in political advertising spending in the medium term, as well as an increase in distribution and digital revenues in the second quarter.

The company reported net income of $226.5 million, an increase of 13.4%, for the period ended June 30. Revenue rose to $1.25 billion, up 10% from the same period a year earlier. Results beat analysts’ consensus expectations, as did earnings per share.

“Our results benefited from strong year-over-year growth in political advertising, distribution and digital revenue,” said Perry Sook, the company’s chairman and CEO.

Nexstar is in the midst of expanding its NewsNation, formerly WGN. It’s up to 60 hours a week of original content, with the recent announcement that former CNN host Chris Cuomo will be joining his primetime lineup in the fall.

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Nexstar is said to be in the process of buying a majority stake in the CW from its parents Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery. The board of Nexstar has just extended Sook’s employment contract until March 31, 2026.

Political advertising revenue rose to $86.7 million, from $8.5 million in the same period last year. Major ad revenue was down 2.5% to $413 million. Nexstar attributed this decline to declines in categories such as insurance, autos, direct response, government spending related to the COVID-19 pandemic and packaged goods. The company said this was offset by solid figures for entertainment and home repair/manufacturing, as well as related categories such as carpet and carpeting and air conditioning/heating and fast food and restaurants. Overall, total TV advertising revenue grew 15.7% to nearly $500 million.

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Nexstar also saw growth in digital revenues, 20.2% to 88.2 million, due to the increase in advertising and agency services, as well as the impact of the purchase of The Hill in 2021.

Distribution revenue increased 4.7% to $646.1 million, as a result of the extension of distribution agreements last year on better terms. That was partially offset by losses in multi-channel video subscribers.

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“We continue to maintain solid visibility on our growth trajectory for three years, given the expected continuation of strong political advertising for the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential elections and distribution agreement extensions in 2022 and 2023, which will affect the vast majority of our subscribers.” Sook said in a statement.

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