Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nexstar debts accumulating rapidly

In an earlier post today, I noted Nexstar Broadcasting, owner of KSNF in Joplin and KSFX in Springfield and Mission Broadcasting, alleged owner of KODE in Joplin and KOLR in Springfield, owe more than $646 million, according to the annual report filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A little less than a year ago, in a prospectus filed with the SEC, Nexstar officials said Nexstar and Mission had a combined debt of $422 million, indicating the company has added $224 million to its debt load, or an average of approximately $19 million per month.
In the area of the prospectus reserved for possible risks the companies face, Nexstar officials said, "We and Mission have a history of net losses and a substantial accumulated deficit. We had consolidated net losses of $20.5 million, $71.8 million and $99.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2004, 2003 and 2002. In addition, as of March 31, 2005, we and Mission had a combined accumulated deficit of $422.8 million. We and Mission may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability."
The rapid accumulation of losses may have been exacerbated by Nexstar's battle with Cable One and Cox Communications over retransmission rights, which shrunk the company's advertising profits during 2005. Since the company has signed agreements with those two companies and numerous other cable companies, opening up a new revenue stream, it should reverse some of those losses.

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