Nexstar Broadcasting Group
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|Traded as||NASDAQ: NXST|
|Founded||Irving, Texas (1996)|
|Founder(s)||Perry A. Sook|
|Area served||United States (Nationwide)|
|Key people||Perry A. Sook (Chairman, President and CEO)
Timothy Busch (Executive Vice President & Co-Chief Operation Officer)
Brian Jones (Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer)
|Revenue||$62.8 million USD|
|Operating income||$17.5 million USD|
|Net income||$83.6 million USD|
|Divisions||Inergize Digital Media|
Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. is an entity of broadcast television stations headquartered in Irving, Texas. The company consists of 91 television stations across the U.S., ranging from market sizes 9(a) (Washington, D.C. sub-market) to 201 (St. Joseph, Missouri). 81 of the stations are broadcasting at full power, with the other 10 broadcasting at low power. Nexstar is known for owning multiple television stations in a single market in most of their markets. They do this through an ingenious employment of FCC regulations limiting owners to only one station per market, by creating a relationship known as a Joint Sales Agreement, or JSA, with another company. They typically do this through a familiar, but legally unrelated company often Mission Broadcasting.
The key to the "virtual duopolies" joint operation is in drafting and abiding by a series of agreements between the stations. One company (usually Nexstar) will take the lead and operate the larger station. Mission typically employs two people in each of their stations and a few more at their home office. Per an FCC decision (letter to Jones Eastern of the Outer Banks) one person is tasked with the management duties for Mission, another with the staff duties. Since two people can't do all that is needed in a small or medium market network affiliate, the larger company signs a "Joint Sales Agreement" to represent the smaller company station in sales, in exchange for a commission of 30% or so. The other 70% goes to the smaller station. The two employees of the smaller station will now need help scheduling and airing the network and local programs, much less producing several newscasts a day. Enter a "Shared Services Agreement" where master control services, news gathering and newscast production are outsourced in exchange for a fee.
This is legal as long as the station owner is in sole control of the program decisions, sales policy, and the amount of outside produced (non-network) programs does not equal or exceed 15%. This last threshold determines if the relationaship is "attributable" per FCC rule 47CFR73.3555.
In FCC terms the two stations have found a dividing line, and are fine so long as they maintain the small nominal separation. In GAAP and SEC terms, the two operations have to be consolidated as the smaller station has few business dealings except those with Nexstar.
These stations are either owned and operated by Nexstar, or controlled by Nexstar through management services agreements (MSAs) with Mission Broadcasting or Sinclair Broadcast Group. Prior to October 2011, Nexstar operated television stations that were owned by the Four Points Media Group; however, on September 8, 2011, Sinclair announced its intent of purchasing the Four Points stations outright and took over the MSA for the stations that October upon Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approval of the deal (the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave final approval of the group deal on December 21, and the Sinclair purchase of the Four Points stations was completed on January 1, 2012).1 Nexstar also holds the license of one station which is currently operated by Sinclair through an MSA. Most of the stations Nexstar owns and operates were acquired through acquisitions of Quorum Broadcasting in 2003 and Newport Television in 2012. Many of these stations are licensed under Mission Broadcasting and operated through MSAs by Nexstar to comply with current FCC ownership limits.2
Many viewers of Nexstar owned or operated stations have complained that these stations have lagged far behind other stations in those markets in beginning airing local programming (including newscasts) in high definition. For example, although a couple of stations owned by Four Points Media managed by Nexstar had already been airing high-definition newscasts (though the upgrades occurred prior to Nexstar taking over operations of the stations) and at least one Nexstar duopoly has been airing newscasts in enhanced definition widescreen, it wasn't until April 2011 that the first Nexstar-owned properties began airing newscasts in high definition under its own stewardship.
Each Nexstar cluster also operates its own news website, although they do not use their station branding in the addresses, choosing to use a slogan related to their area. Most local Nexstar sites also have a related .biz site separate from the news site to promote Nexstar's daily local deal efforts, paid "ask the experts" sections, and local advertisers in each market.
Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license.
|Market||Station||Channel TV (RF)||Acquired||Current Affiliation|
|Dothan - Ozark||WDHN||18 (21)||2003||ABC|
|Fort Smith - Fayetteville - Springdale - Rogers||KNWA-TV||51 (50)||2004||NBC|
|KFTA-TV 1||24 (27)||2004||Fox|
|Little Rock - Pine Bluff||KARK-TV||4 (32)||2003||NBC|
|KLRT-TV 2||16 (30)||2013||Fox|
|KASN 2||38 (39)||2013||The CW|
The CW (DT2)
|Jacksonville||WCWJ||17 (34)||2009||The CW|
|Champaign - Urbana - Springfield - Decatur||WCIA||3 (48)||1999||CBS|
|Peoria - Bloomington||WMBD-TV||31 (30)||1999||CBS|
|WTVO 2||17 (16)||2004||ABC
|WTVW 2||7 (28)||2003||The CW|
|Fort Wayne||WFFT-TV||55 (36)||2003||Fox|
|Terre Haute||WTWO||2 (36)||1997||NBC|
|WAWV-TV 2||38 (39)||2003||ABC|
|Monroe - El Dorado||KARD||14 (36)||2003||Fox|
|KTVE 2||10 (27)||2007||NBC|
|Shreveport - Texarkana||KTAL-TV||6 (15)||2000||NBC|
|Hagerstown - Washington||WHAG-TV 3||25 (26)||2003||NBC|
|Escanaba - Marquette||WJMN-TV
(Semi-satellite of WFRV-TV)
|Joplin - Pittsburg||KSNF||16 (46)||1998||NBC|
|KODE-TV 2||12 (43)||2002||ABC|
|Springfield - Branson||KOZL-TV||27 (28)||2003||Independent|
|KOLR 2||10 (10)||2003||CBS|
|St. Joseph||KQTV||2 (7)||1997||ABC|
|Hardin - Billings||KSVI||6 (18)||2003||ABC|
|KHMT 2||4 (22)||2003||Fox|
|Utica - Rome||WFXV||33 (27)||2003||Fox|
|WUTR 2||20 (30)||2004||ABC|
(Semi-satellite of WSYR-TV)
The CW (DT2)
|Altoona - State College - Johnstown||WTAJ-TV||10 (32)||2006||CBS|
|WFXP 2||66 (22)||1998||Fox|
|Lebanon - Lancaster - York - Harrisburg||WLYH-TV 3||15 (23)||2006||The CW|
|Wilkes-Barre - Scranton||WBRE-TV||28 (11)||1998||NBC|
|WYOU 2||22 (13)||1996||CBS|
|WLMT||30 (31)||2012||The CW|
|Abilene - Sweetwater||KTAB-TV||32 (24)||1999||CBS|
|KRBC-TV 2||9 (29)||2003||NBC|
|KCIT 2||14 (15)||1999||Fox|
|KCPN-LP 2||33 (4.2)||1999||MyNetworkTV|
|KAMC 2||28 (27)||2003||ABC|
|Odessa - Midland||KMID||2 (26)||2000||ABC|
|San Angelo||KLST||8 (11)||2004||CBS|
|KSAN-TV 2||3 (16)||2003||NBC|
|Wichita Falls - Lawton||KFDX-TV||3 (28)||1998||NBC|
|KJTL 2||18 (15)||1999||Fox|
|KJBO-LP 2||35 (3.2)||1999||MyNetworkTV|
|Salt Lake City||KTVX||4 (40)||2012||ABC|
|Burlington - Plattsburgh||WFFF-TV||44 (43)||2013||Fox
|WVNY 2||22 (13)||2013||ABC|
|Green Bay - Appleton||WFRV-TV||5 (39)||2011||CBS|
- 1 The sale of KFTA to Mission Broadcasting is pending; Nexstar will continue to operate the station after the sale.
- 2 These stations are nominally owned by Mission Broadcasting and operated by Nexstar under local marketing agreements.
- 3 WHAG serves as a sub-market station to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
- 4 These stations are nominally owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group and operated by Nexstar under local marketing agreements.
- 5 Nexstar owns the station's license but management capabilities belong to the Sinclair Broadcast Group through another station, CBS affiliate WHP-TV, Sinclair currently operates the station under a Local Marketing Agreement. Sinclair holds an option to acquire the license assets of WLYH, either outright or through another company such as Deerfield Media, when the LMA expires in 2015.
|Market||Station||Channel TV (RF)||Years Owned||Affiliation/Owner|
|Beaumont - Port Arthur||KBTV-TV||4 (40)||1998-2012||Fox affiliate owned by Deerfield Media
(Operated under a local marketing agreement by Sinclair)
In 2011, Nexstar and Fox entered into a dispute over terms of reverse compensation; this occurred as Fox began to aggressively seek shares of earnings from retransmission consent agreements with cable and satellite operators as part of affiliation agreement renewals between station groups with affiliates whose affiliation contracts already expired (and carrying the network's programming without a contractual agreement) or were near expiration. Reportedly, the amount from retransmission consent fees from cable and satellite operators that Fox wanted its affiliates to pay the network would be 25 cents per subscriber during the first year of the affiliation agreement, increasing to 50 cents by the fourth year.3 President of affiliate sales and marketing for Fox, Mike Hopkins, had said earlier in the year that the network would consider moving its affiliation to another market station as a last resort, if existing affiliates did not agree to the terms for reverse compensation retrans sharing.4
Fox dropped its affiliation from Nexstar-owned/managed stations in four markets, with three of the replacement stations adding Fox in addition to existing affiliations with the MyNetworkTV program service (owned by Fox parent company News Corporation). In Indiana, two markets saw Fox go from a primary affiliation of one station to joining an existing MyNetworkTV-affiliated digital subchannel of a competing Big Three station, with MNT going to a secondary affiliation: in Evansville, Fox moved from WTVW (which then became an independent station and later joined the CW) to a MNT-affiliated subchannel of CBS affiliate WEVV-TV on July 1, while in Fort Wayne, the Fox affiliation moved from WFFT-TV to an MNT-affiliated subchannel of NBC affiliate WISE-TV on August 1.5 The network also moved its affiliation in Springfield, Missouri from KSFX-TV (operated in a duoploly with area CBS affiliate KOLR) to upstart MyNetworkTV affiliate KRBK on September 1, 2011, with both stations becoming independents.5 Nexstar chose to drop Fox from WFXW in Terre Haute, Indiana and re-affiliate with ABC on September 1, 2011 (becoming the only Nexstar station thus far to affiliate with another network following the removal of the Fox affiliation) as part of a long-term renewal agreement between Nexstar and ABC for the group's nine existing ABC stations, reversing a 1995 switch that saw Terre Haute losing over-the air carriage of ABC programs (since then, ABC has been seen in the market via Indianapolis affiliate WRTV on area cable and satellite providers);67 the Fox affiliation then moved to a digital subchannel of CBS affiliate WTHI-TV which also added MyNetworkTV as a secondary affiliation. Nexstar's remaining Fox affiliates have since signed a renewal agreement through December 2013;8 in addition, following the settlement of Nexstar's antitrust lawsuit against WISE-TV owner Granite Broadcasting Corporation, WFFT-TV reclaimed the Fox affiliation on March 1, 2013.910
Nexstar announced on July 21, 2011 that it is exploring and evaluating strategic alternatives intended to maximize shareholder value, including a possible sale of the company.11
- Nexstar Managing Four Points Stations, Broadcasting & Cable, March 23, 2009
- "Fox Gives No Ground On Retrans Sharing", TVNewsCheck, April 12, 2011.
- "Fox Inks New Affiliation Agreements, Scraps Others," from Broadcasting & Cable, 5/11/2011
- "Fox Moves Afills In Springfield, Ft. Wayne". TVNewsCheck. June 20, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- "Nexstar's WFXW Switching From Fox To ABC," from Broadcasting & Cable, 6/28/2011
- Jessell, Harry A. (June 28, 2011). "Nexstar Drops Fox For ABC In Terre Haute". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
- McAvoy, Kim (April 15, 2012). "Fox Is TV's New Station Group Leader". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved April 17, 2012. "Nexstar renewed its remaining eight Fox affiliates through December 2013."
- Knox, Merrill (February 6, 2013). "Nexstar, Granite Settle Antitrust Lawsuit, Returning Fox Affiliation to Fort Wayne’s WFFT". TVSpy. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- Malone, Michael (February 6, 2013). "Nexstar's WFFT Fort Wayne Back in Fox Fold". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "Sale of Nexstar Stations Possible as Company Explores ‘Strategic Alternatives’" Mediabistro.com, July 21, 2011